Nelson is not only one of the sunniest regions in New Zealand, it’s also home to some incredibly talented artisan makers and family businesses.
Blackenbrook, a 20ha boutique operation in the Moutere sub-region of this picturesque part of the country, is owned and operated by the Schwarzenbach family, producing seven varieties of premium New Zealand wine.
Boutique Connection, an exciting new wine online shop, officially launched last week here in New Zealand. Founders and industry newbies Scarlet and Sam created this inspiring space to primarily tell boutique producers’s stories and help sell their wines on the back of it. A win/win initiative that’s centred around brand stories rather than discounts!
Centuries of experience stand behind family winery Soljans Estate, and we’re thrilled to share a Q&A with Amber Soljan today – the younger half of the fifth generation of the iconic West Auckland estate next to Tyler Soljan.
Malaysian-born Chinese, Stephen Wong MW moved from Borneo to Singapore before settling in New Zealand. Shortly after completing his studies, he picked up a sommelier role and started teaching himself on the job.
Today we’d love to introduce you to another inspiring and energetic woman in wine that’s worth watching: Zoë Ladyman, Domestic and International Sales Manager for Akarua Wines in Central Otago.
Find out more about her role and love affair with wine in the following Q&A:
What does a typical working day look like for you?
So varied! Lots of talking, tasting and spreading the good word of Akarua – whether I’m hosting visitors to the winery, out in our local region visiting our restaurant and retail customers; away in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch working with our local distributor, or off overseas visiting our importers and buyers.
Or I could be at my desk managing my budgets, forecasts and inbox…
When and why did you fall in love with wine?
When I first moved to Melbourne when I was 22 (I was born in Perth), got a waitressing job at a wonderful restaurant with a rich wine culture, started to learn about food and wine matching and took some courses with the Australian Sommelier’s Association – I fell straight down the rabbit hole and I’ve been falling ever since.
If you were a wine, what wine would you be?
Really depends on the mood I’m in, the people I’m with, and what I’m eating. Today I’m Cru Beaujolais – let’s call it 2017 Domaine de la Grand’Cour Fleurie.
What’s your go-to wine at the moment?
Textural savoury whites and bright, crunchy reds. We’ve just released a single vineyard pinot noir from our 25 steps vineyard in Pisa – I’ve been enjoying that a lot lately!
Share a fact about yourself that only a few know
I half completed a physiotherapy degree – I dropped out before they could fail me. I did pass the massage component!
Things you still want to do – what’s on your bucket list?
Gosh so many things, join a choir, travel to all the tennis grand slams in a year, get dropped off by a helicopter at the top of a mountain and snowboard down, eat at Per Se in NYC, watch my children get married, hike the Routeburn…
Dead or alive, who would you like to share a glass of vino with?
Dave Sutton is one of the driving forces behind the Lloyd family’s vision to create a sustainable estate that reflects Central Otago’s beauty and unpretentious quality of the land and lifestyle. As Te Kano’s Winemaker and General Manager, Dave not only crafts a range of premium Central Otago wines but has also been tasked to help leave a positive legacy for future generations of the Lloyd family.