Te Whare Ra Wines Co-Owner Enthused By Industry Direction

Te Whare Ra Wines Co-Owner Enthused By Industry Direction

Te Whare Ra Wines co-owner Anna Flowerday discusses the nuances and forward movement in the New Zealand wine industry, reflecting on the 2024 wine harvest's successes despite regional adversities such as frost and drought. 

"We're obviously well behind in the race to the quantity side of things in Marlborough, but Jason and I always had that vision for TWR... to stand out for the quality of the wines that we make," she says.

This sets the tone for a discussion deeply rooted in the balance between quality and the evolving demands of wine production. A significant aspect of the conversation is the labour dynamics, particularly how the return of international harvest interns has revitalised the industry post-COVID. 

Flowerday illustrates the industry's camaraderie, saying, "It's great to have that back because it's such a big part of the industry having that little cross-fertilisation of ideas." 

The discourse also turns towards the role of wine reviews and critics, with a special mention of master sommelier Cam Douglas, whose insights have significantly influenced Te Whare Ra's brand. 

Flowerday comments on the evolution of wine criticism into the digital realm, "A lot of writers now self-publish... A lot of them are very active on social media... Some of them post video reviews." 

The conversation also delves into the innovation streak within the industry, from the packaging of premium red wines in bag-in-box formats by Dicey to the creative conversion of non-alcoholic Sauvignon Blanc alcohol into gin by Giesen. Flowerday underscores the responsiveness of the industry to trends, especially the low and no alcohol segment, and the rise of 'conscious consumers' who are increasingly concerned with the origins and production methods of their wine. 

"The younger generation does seem to be particularly interested in things like that," she explains, pointing out the shift in consumer values towards organic and sustainable practices. 

Lastly, the global reach of New Zealand wines, with South Korea's burgeoning interest, is a testament to the industry's adaptability and international appeal. Flowerday reflects on the continuous learning and innovation in winemaking, maintaining a spirited outlook for the future. 

"Even after 30 years in it, I still absolutely love it... There's always something new to learn or try."

Overall, the conversation paints a picture of an industry at the cusp of change, ready to embrace both tradition and modernity, quality and innovation, with a watchful eye on the international markets and consumer trends that will shape the future of winemaking.

Listen to the full chat between Anna Flowerday and Dominic George above.

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