This business has evolved because of my passion for wine and the industry. I am a new Oamaru-ite, (3years now – time flies!) and I’m excited to be living nearby to this up and coming wine region situated in the Waitaki Valley.
I wish to share my passion with those who join my tours, discovering the heritage, geology, scenic beauty, it’s people and exploring New Zealand’s newest wine region.
I have been involved in the Wine Industry in various roles since 1994. My journey began when I found I was serving wine + knew nothing about it (as well everybody else at my work). To understand + increase my limited knowledge, I packed a tent in my car + visited every vineyard in the South Island. I think my handbook was an AA a-z of South Island Vineyards. I pulled up many driveways + dirt roads, luckily meeting key people from vineyards and wineries only to happy to share their knowledge + passion for wine. Many tastings in barrel rooms were had. What an awesome trip and many of those people became friends and mentors.
I became a Wine Advisor at a retail outlet and enjoyed mostly, simplifying the mystique of wines to the general public through the store, writing a Wine Column for 2yrs, conducting live Wine Tastings every fortnight on local radio with the announcer who had an untrained palate, knew nothing about wine, so honesty prevailed and laughter was frequent!
I attended many wine trade shows, show casing their newest vintages and of course I tried the merchandise so I could report back to the customers 🙂
I have experienced all processes on the vineyard, volunteering so I could research each process in order to write my Wine Column in an honest manner. This was done mostly in Central Otago, I even helped Verden at Black Ridge in Alexandra fix the irrigation lines! I went to Marlborough for a vintage and worked as a Quality Controller, reacquainting with the region and it’s wines.
I was involved with a local Wine Club that had 80 members. Our guest speakers were from all over NZ and Australia showcasing their wines while enjoying a food/wine matched meal of 4 courses. Great nights for everyone.
For fun, I organised annual Weekend Wine Trips to Central Otago in 40 seater buses or used vans for “Barrel Parties”. Those trips are still talked about + remembered fondly.
I have worked in and Managed Bars/Café’s and Restaurants both here and in Australia.
I remember reading in 2001 about Howard Patterson, a Dunedin businessman planting pinot noir grapes in the Waitaki Valley. This was a trial vineyard. I thought I’d keep an eye on their progress! and now I promote this interesting wine region + it’s wines 🙂 Howard’s original vineyard is now producing World Class Pinot Noir’s. As they say……”The rest is History”.
On arriving in Oamaru, I managed Kurow Estate’s wine tasting room which was situated in the stunning “Historical Precinct” in Oamaru. Kurow Estate’s founder, Antonio Pasquale was one of the pioneers of wine in the Waitaki Valley and built the only winery to date in 2007.
I find wine so interesting and enjoyable because:
- every wine is different
- every vintage is different
- wine changes as it develops with age
- there are always new wines to taste and explore
- wines are different, depending on your mood, the atmosphere, the glass, the food, the occasion, the company etc.
- every persons tastes are different, only you know what you enjoy the most.
I am still as passionate about wine and the people and stories behind the labels as much today, as when I first begun.
Please come and join me, you’ll be so glad you did.
CHEERS SUE 🙂