Dave Clouston, the celebrated 'Mr. Rosé' from Two Rivers Winery in New Zealand, joins Dom George to discuss his personal journey, the evolution of Rosé in NZ and more.
Clouston's narrative is one of transformation, both personal and professional, as he shares how Rosé went from being a sweet afterthought to a sophisticated, sought-after beverage enjoyed year-round.
One of the episode's key talking points is the explosive growth in Rosé's popularity.
"You think back to the Rosé's our parents used to drink. They were dark, they were red and it was sweet... But now... good Rosé needs to be pale, sort of salmon in colour needs to be dry, needs to have lovely fresh acidity," Clouston explains.
He recalls how the wine industry has evolved over the years, mirroring his own journey from a fifth-generation farmer to a renowned winemaker. Clouston's transition was "pretty easy," sparked by an early fascination with wine and an influential stint at Stoneleigh Wines.
The conversation also delves into Two Rivers Winery's commitment to organic practices. Clouston candidly discusses the challenges and rewards of this shift, noting that "crop immediately was cut in half," which meant that "you need to get a higher bottle price to kind of make up for that."
Despite the challenges, Clouston asserts that organic wines are "more authentic" and have "a lot more flavour."
His belief in sustainability is reflected in his dedication to the environment and to producing high-quality, flavorful wines. Another engaging topic is the discussion around the cultural aspects of Two Rivers Winery, which includes a unique cricket pitch within the vineyard. This pitch not only adds a touch of charm but serves as a social hub, reinforcing Clouston's philosophy of winemaking as a lifestyle.
"It's a really cool... good way for... mental health and... a lot of guys get stuck in on farms and they get stuck in the wineries and we can catch up and have a beer and play the sport and you know that's a really, it's really cool."
As the conversation concludes, the hosts touch on the significance of Rose Day and the importance of taking the time to celebrate and enjoy one's favourite wines. Clouston's parting words encourage listeners to indulge, as he and his wife plan to do with a magnum of Rosé, symbolising the joie de vivre that Rosé and wine culture encapsulate.
Throughout the episode, Clouston's insights into the winemaking process, market dynamics, and the passion behind Two Rivers' wines offer listeners a glimpse into the world of a winemaker who has played a pivotal role in changing how Rosé is perceived and enjoyed globally.
Listen to the full chat between David Clouston and Dominic George above.