Tuesday, 12 December 2023 15:25

Haere Ra 2023: Marlborough, Wairau

Written by  Staff Reporters
Jules Taylor. Photo Credit: Lisa Duncan Jules Taylor. Photo Credit: Lisa Duncan

The founder, winemaker and namesake of Jules Taylor Wines, who was Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine's 2021 New Zealand Winemaker of the Year, pays homage to a surprisingly splendid vintage in Marlborough's 50th year of wine.

The Good

How great is it to be celebrating 50 years since the first commercial plantings of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc? I am so proud to have been part of this amazing region's growth and success. And how appropriate to celebrate with a cracker harvest across all varieties after such a challenging growing season. It is testament to the viticultural talent here... we certainly played our 'get out of jail free' card. Being able to visit our overseas markets again has also been a highlight. Connecting with our new United States importer and old friends throughout our network has cemented my love affair with cocktails and the importance of maintaining great relationships!

The Bad

The devastation in the North Island growing regions was particularly hard to comprehend, with so many friends throughout the industry so badly affected. Mother Nature again proved to be an incredible force. These adverse weather events are so extreme these days - if it's not one thing, it's another. Market forces have been tough too with slowdowns and uncertainties contributing to a hard year for some. Life on the wine roller coaster is never dull.

& The Awesome

The 2023 vintage wines from Marlborough taste awesome across all varieties, which is particularly pleasing after the anxiety heading into vintage. And for us, releasing our first ever organically certified wine - the On The Quiet Pinot Noir 2021 - has been fantastic. We are proud to be moving into that space and stoked with the reception from the trade and consumers. Watching from afar the success of other New Zealand wines around the world also gives me huge pleasure. And all these young, talented viticulture and winemaking folk emerging in our industry makes me think we are in good shape.

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