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M Y E D U C AT I O N

Wooed by our wine BY EDDIE ALLNUTT

Apart from your passion for wine, why did you do this course? In my endeavour to create Meeting Winemakers, I felt I needed to understand the science of viticulture so I’m knowledgeable when talking to the winemakers. The more I talked with them, the more I became immersed in the industry.

How was it to study away from home, China? It forces you out of your comfort zone. It’s an invaluable experience but not easy because I had to conquer difficulties such as language and loneliness. I had to be both independent and patient.

How was the course? My study group was small so it was easy to communicate with classmates and tutors. Being in New Zealand’s largest wine region gave lots of opportunities to work in different vineyards and wineries and even to help at wine conferences.

What is your favourite wine? I don’t have a particular favourite and I like all varieties as they have unique characters and impress in one way or another. Saying that, I do savour the green capsicum notes of Marlborough sauvignon blanc and there’s some impressive Nelson syrah out there.

Shixiang ‘Adora’ Wu came to New Zealand to visit a friend after finishing her Journalism Masters in Hong Kong. Her friend happened to live in Marlborough, and Adora fell in love with wine. So much so that in 2013, she enrolled in the NMIT two-year Diploma in Viticulture and Winemaking. Now she’s written a book, Meeting Winemakers.

Can you tell me about your book? We see the maker’s label on the bottle but we don’t know the story behind it and that’s what my book explores, in 36 Marlborough wineries. We had a very successful launch in December and approximately 100 copies were sold.

What about wine in China? Reds are popular in China, as people believe that they have health benefits, are good for sleep and can also make you more beautiful. There was a report saying that China has about 10 percent of the world’s total vineyards. Area-wise we are 90

second to Spain and have more vineyards than France. In China, French wine is the most popular, then Australian, Chilean and Argentinian. It’s a growing market but New Zealand wines make up a small percentage and are not well-recognised. When I do tastings back home, many are surprised that it’s even produced here. I believe correct marketing is key and that doesn’t mean flying visits by reps. Remember that in China, the use of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are forbidden but we have our own social media such as WeChat.

What’s the future for you? New Zealand wine has huge potential. People think of this country as clean and green with quality products, and I would like to bridge the gap between Kiwi wines and Chinese consumers. I’m producing my own Marlborough wine this year and plan to take it back home. Being a winemaker was beyond my wildest dreams but if you are passionate and you work hard towards your goal, you’ll find you can achieve something that you never imagined before.

Profile for WildTomato

Wild Tomato March2017  

WildTomato is Nelson & Marlborough's magazine. We focus on inspiring journalism, stunning photography and beautiful design. www.wildtomato.c...

Wild Tomato March2017  

WildTomato is Nelson & Marlborough's magazine. We focus on inspiring journalism, stunning photography and beautiful design. www.wildtomato.c...

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