The road to becoming a winemaker isn't exactly paved. For some (for most?) it's more like a shingle road, with mighty large potholes and meandering detours.
I started my wine career like many do - as a cellar hand* chasing harvests. We go from one winery to the next and from one hemisphere to the other. When we’re not crushing (processing grapes into wine) we’re usually in the vineyard, or finding odd jobs to make ends meet. It's fun, it’s hard work, it's unsettling and it's necessary if you want to learn the art of winemaking from more than one source.
Don’t get me wrong, travelling the world with wine is an incredible gift. It literally takes you to the most beautiful parts of the world.
I found myself at a crossroads at the end of my last winemaking gig. I had to decide whether to continue the harvest chase and keep hosting events in-between vintages to keep my head above water, or accept a full-time wine marketing job.
It wasn’t an easy decision, but the opportunity to work for one of New Zealand’s best wineries was an offer way too good to pass by. By no means have I stopped my winemaking journey – that is the metaphorical Pan-American Highway. Instead, I’m taking a front row seat in another aspect of the wine biz and will focus on making my own small batches of wine.
Another perk! Having the chance to create a base – which will last longer than a few months - has also given me the chance to start other projects like a vegetable garden!
Watch this space for more events too. They will be happening.
*intern, cellar rat, apprentice, not the winemaker