Many wineries pride themselves as being boutique but when you produce wines in a sub-region that most people haven’t heard of, all wines come from a single vineyard and one enthusiastic wine lover is pretty much running the show, you know you found a little gem.
We caught up with Managing Director of Q Wine Jules Matthews to find out more about this boutique brand from the Waitaki Valley in North Otago.
Hi Jules, thank you so much for taking the time to answer some of our questions.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself …
I have always been passionate about food, wine, and travel hence travelling to some of the world’s premium wine growing regions and experiencing the best that the fertile earth has to offer. After learning about the huge variety of old and new world wine styles on offer from a wine lover’s perspective became more and more excited about the idea of getting involved within the world of wine.
After returning home to New Zealand in 2002 established the Q wine brand in association with Auckland based business investor Jules Stephan. Beginning with the dream of many a wine lover to establish his own vineyard, Stephan’s personal quest to create ‘perfect pinot noir’. The name Q is a nod to his other endeavours that also begin with the most enigmatic of letters, and is evocative of the vineyard’s pursuit of excellence and quality when it comes to crafting a wine that is truly unique.
When & how did Q Wine start?
In 2002, enthusiastic New Zealand wine lover Jules Stephan got the opportunity to obtain a block of land in the Waitaki Valley, an area where sheep farming held sway up to that time, but which had the clear potential to produce exceptional wines. He enlisted the help of myself to realise the dream of creating distinctive wines made for the sheer love of it.
Number of employees
I manage every aspect of Q however have a fantastic winemaker Antony Worch and use a viticulturist to provide the all the support and guidance we need when it comes to the vineyard.
What’s your signature wine?
Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris Rose and 2015 will have our first Chardonnay.
Where is the Waitaki Valley?
Q Wine is grown on a single vineyard in the challenging, but extremely rewarding, terroir of the Waitaki Valley in North Otago. It’s one of the coolest regions in New Zealand for wine-growing, with exceptional limestone rich soils. It lies on the southern bank of the Waitaki River near Otiake, on a substrate of fractured limestone marl with overlay of alluvial silts.
Grape growers have been attracted to the area by its free-draining, limestone rich soils and long, reliably dry ripening season. The region has all the elements needed to make taut, edgy and powerful wines, particularly from pinot noir and pinot gris.
What makes the Waitaki Valley so special?
This terroir allows us to create wines that are intense, balanced and distinctive. To make the most of our location, our vines are densely planted, so that each vine only has to bear a small amount of fruit. Having such low yields produces exceptional wines with great concentration.
We focus on traditional techniques and a high level of craft to ensure that the vines achieve their full potential. Our boutique approach means we hand harvest all of our grapes allowing each bottle to emulate the essence of the vineyard.
Thanks Jules, that sounds very intriguing!