Meet Murray! Winemaker at Dog Point Vineyard

Murray Cook is not only winemaker at Dog Point Vineyard – he also helps out as cellar hand, janitor and coffee maid.

Hi Murray, thanks a lot for your time to answer some of my questions. Let’s get straight into it!

Number of years in the wine industry
12 years.

First job
Old school paper round…


What does a typical day at work look like for you?
Pick up coffees on the way in for the team, spin a yarn for 10 minutes while we enjoy the Burleigh Coffee’s, then beyond this its varied between topping, cleaning etc.

Other times throughout the year call for blending, filtering, bottling in between its searching for our wandering dogs (they have 200ha of streams, ponds, forest with rabbits to hunt for) – it’s a dogs’ dream at Dog Point. Needless to say they get tied up after that.

If you were a wine, what wine would you be?
Chardonnay, often complex, sometimes funky, sometimes nutty and always a good idea!

What would you do if you wouldn’t be a winemaker?
There’s no plan B. But the outdoors are my go to, so if look for something involving that.

Why did you decide to work in the wine industry?
An interest flowed on from my parents. Dipped my toes in the water doing a pruning season in Central and never looked back. That was me.

What’s so special about New Zealand wine?
Purity of flavour, instant recognisability and personality in many of our wines. They have a real distinctiveness or uniqueness that’s quite special. We live in such a clean and green country and one that’s worth looking after.


The movement of the industry to organics is a no brainer for me. It’s just a matter of how long until we’re at 100%. There’s so much opportunity for the future. There’s no need to rebrand or tell a different story, it’s already strong in people’s mind associating New Zealand with these ideals.

Wine & dine, what’s your favourite match?
Duck and Pinot.

Share a fact about yourself that only a few know
I used to have dreadlocks.

Hidden gems and favourite spots in Marlborough
Ocean bay, Robin Hood, The Marlborough Sounds, Craig Lockhart on the Waihopai River, Pine Valley, Gibbs Restaurant and the Burleigh Dairy. So many more too!

Things you still want to do
Plenty more parts of the world to see with my wife and children. No such things as travelling light anymore though.

Last book read
Can’t remember if it was Hairy Maclary or The Very Hungry Caterpillar…. But for me personally, it’s been a while. Think it was Clive Coates – Burgundy…

Advice on buying wine
Taste as much and as often as you can, find what you like and buy it. Drink it in good company.

Dead or alive, who would you like to share a glass of vino with?
It’s hard to go past my wife, we’ve shared quite a few good ones over the last 16 years.

I’d also have to say my Dad, he passed away 13 years ago and had a huge passion for wine. I think he’d be wrapped to see where I am today.

Thanks Murray, I’ll pop in for a coffee or wine when I’m next down there!

Find out more about Dog Point Vineyards on their website and follow them on Facebook & Twitter. Murray is also on Twitter @mcjcook.


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