At Waipara Hills our wine making philosophy is simple. It’s about creating balance, encouraging the characteristics of each season’s fruit to shine, and celebrating the Waipara Valley vineyards. The result is wine that is rich, textural and complex.
From the vineyard to the winery, our team are hands on, pouring a little of themselves into what they do. Harvest signals the beginning of a new season, the chance to create wine that is distinctly Waipara Hills.Winemaker
Andrew Brown (Brownie) is our winemaker. It was in a student flat in Christchurch, when he found the wonders of wine, and although wine wasn’t his course of study at the time, he promised himself he would come back and study winemaking at a later date. A few different careers later (one driving a Kiwi Experience bus) and he did just that. He is a big music lover, (he’s vox/guitar, in a band) his Spotify playlist is (most times) coveted and definitely spans many genres and his music knowledge is much valued at Thursday quiz time. He also is a bit of a film buff and when it comes to wine he is a self-confessed aromatics fan, particularly of Riesling because of its stylistic diversity.
He has always been a fan of the wine produced in the Waipara Valley, believing the climate and longer growing season bodes well for producing great examples of aromatic white wines and Pinot Noir. It’s the vivid expression of the varieties that intrigues Brownie; – it’s not the easiest place to grow grapes, the Valley being on the edge of viticultural nirvana, and this has his respect. He also holds a lot of admiration for the viticultural team, and enjoys working with such a committed crew who love the region and know the vineyards like the back of their hands.
When making wine, vineyard expression and balance are important to Brownie. Respecting each site’s quirks and characters and honouring the work the vineyard team puts in to grow good fruit are forefront in his mind. Each year he says the sites reveal more and the satisfying part is allowing those characteristics to show in your glass.
Often found with his tunes on while blending wine, Brownie’s southern roots keep him real. He makes ‘smashable wines that are meant to be drunk with good people and tasty food’ (direct quote) and we wouldn’t ask for more than that.