Tag: nz wine abroad

NZ Wine Abroad: Hannah Gordon from Craggy Range

Hannah Gordon is a fellow German who also has the “New Zealand wine bug” and passionately promotes Craggy Range in Europe as their UK/Europe Business Manager.

Let’s find out a bit more about her passion and role at Craggy Range, shall we?

Hi Hannah, thanks a lot for your time. What’s a “normal” day for you?
Looking after and developing our Craggy Range business in mainland Europe and the UK. This involves a lot of planes, planning, talking and educating about our unique regions in New Zealand. Thankfully it also includes some nice wines and dinners now and then!

Number of years in the wine industry:
5 years.

Why did you decide to work in the wine industry?
I trained to be a hotel specialist and did a three-year apprenticeship in a 5* star hotel in Germany when I was 17. This was my first contact with wine. The real decision however came in South Africa, working with wine and writing my dissertation on wine tourism in 2010.

What’s so special about New Zealand wine?
Firstly I really enjoy the diversity we can offer, whilst staying true to the grape’s natural characteristics by using terroir that is suited to it.

Secondly it must be the freshness and textural aspects our wines deliver, making them very assessable and great food wines.

Last but not least, the people who make the New Zealand wine industry what it is.

First Job
I will leave out my teenage jobs, but I would say my first proper job was my 5* Hotel apprenticeship in Germany with 17.

If you were a wine, what wine would you be?
That is like choosing your favourite wine…not easy. I think I would be a Riesling with a nice juicy freshness to it and a long living potential.

What would you do if you wouldn’t be in your current role?
My WSET Diploma.

What’s your favourite New Zealand wine?
Craggy Range of course!!! Next to our wines I am a big fan of what Pyramid Valley is getting up to and the passion and ideas that stand behind the wines. I also enjoy Waiheke reds and some of the Rieslings we do on the South Island.

Wine & dine, what’s your favourite match?
Hard to narrow that one down…. I would say spicy yellow curry with a Riesling or white blend from Alsace.

Share a fact about yourself that only a few know:
I was born in Cornwall, but live in Hamburg. I am half German/half British.

Things you still want to do:
MBA, travel to South America, Iceland and Australia.

Last book read:
Paris by Edward Rutherford

Advice on buying wine:
BUY, experiment, try other things and drink.

Dead or alive, who would you like to share a glass of vino with?
My English grandmother, who was a talented & successful chef.

Thanks Hannah!

Follow Hannah on Twitter to keep up with her journey!


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Meet Melanie Brown – Owner of London’s 1st NZ Wine Shop

Melanie Brown, kiwi entrepreneur, NZ wine lover and social media extraordinaire, is the founder of The New Zealand Cellar online store and decided it’s time to take the next step – to open a captivating retail space in London where people can explore the wonders of New Zealand wine.

She launched a Kickstarter campaign and “smashed it out of the park” in cricket speak, raising a whopping £42,502 for her retail adventure. The shop in Brixton is opening at the end of May and we’re thrilled that Melanie took the time between painting and organising a million things to answer some of our questions.

Hi Melanie, thank you so much for taking the time to answer some of our questions… here we go:

Full name:
Melanie Brown.

Director, The New Zealand Cellar.

Number of years in the wine industry:
6 years.

First Job:
Chef Apprenticeship in Christchurch at The George Hotel.

Why did you decide to work in the wine industry?
After moving to London and developing a fairly annoying skin problem (the water is exceptionally harsh here) I decided to give Front of House a crack, before long I was consumed by the wine list at The Providores and spent time studying my WSET before I was eventually offered the job to take over the wine list.

What’s so special about NZ wine?
Everything! The reason it’s so special is the people. The common thread of our kiwi nature has allowed to develop very similar core values. We not only want the best for our environment but we are also aware of the responsibility we have to ensure it is treated with the best energy and respect possible. Couple this with the drive to succeed, inspiring travels to traditional winemaking countries and it’s really not surprising New Zealand aptly produces vibrant pure examples of some of the finest wines in the world.

Which wine are you saving to celebrate the opening of your store with?
Dom Perignon.

mel 3

If you were a wine, what wine would you be and why?
I’d be Riesling – an opportunity to be devoured across every significant phase of a dinner party, yes please!

Wine & dine, what’s your favourite match?
Ata Rangi Chardonnay + Lobster Risotto made specifically by my husband.

Share a fact about you that only a few know:
I’m a qualified chef.

Favourite spots in London:
Naughty Piglets, Sager & Wilde, Tooting Common, Brixton Village.

Things you still want to do:
Travel, it seems there hasn’t been too much of that lately. I need to finish my WSET Diploma too, perhaps I’ll travel and study…

Highlight in 2014:
Pushing the ‘live’ button on The New Zealand Cellar.


Last book read?
Definitely not a reader – honestly I cannot remember!

Advice on buying wine:
Don’t be fooled by expensive wines, think about your food and don’t be afraid to ask a sommelier or assistant for help.

Dead or alive, who would you like to share a glass of vino with?
My husband.

Find out more about The NZ Wine Cellar and soon to be opened Shop here. Follow Melanie on Facebook | Instagram & Twitter.

Thank you very much for your time Melanie and good luck for the opening!


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#SauvBlanc Day Essentials

Ready, savvy, go …. this Friday (24 April) is international #SauvBlanc day, so get sorted now. Invite some friends over and put a bottle or two of your favourite Sav in the fridge and you’re ready to go.

Wait, don’t forget the nibbles – a tasting platter or if you’re feeling a little bit fancy spoil your guests with some sassy seafood.

Once you’re sipping make sure to join the conversation online via the hashtag #SauvBlanc and connect with other Sav lovers around the globe. Show them how much you love New Zealand’s signature varietal and how it’s enjoyed back home.

Get ready with these #SauvBlanc Day essentials:

1 Riedel Sauvignon Blanc Glasses from Glengarry | 2 Marble Serving Board from Citta Design | 3 Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2014 from Saint Clair | 4 Kip Co Tea Towel from Let Liv | 5 Round Wooden Cheese Board from The Foxes Den | 6 Lemongrass + Ginger Candle from Ecoya