A winemaker shares his Summer wine recommendations and tips

A Savvy B for me!

How did you get started in the industry?

I didn’t take the most traditional or direct route to winemaking. I was born in England, but grew up in Scotland and Cyprus, and it was in Cyprus that I was first exposed to wine. I have great memories of sitting in local tavernas with my mum and dad.

I’d see the local vineyards often, so I grew up with an interest in wine. But science was also my passion and it led me to study marine biology in Glasgow before moving to New Zealand in 2000 to teach scuba diving.

The wine industry was really taking off and I guess I saw the opportunity. I went back to university to study wine and joined the wine industry in 2004, and the rest as they say is history.

What’s the best part of your job?

I’m lucky to be in one of the most beautiful places in the world, doing what I love. Winemaking in Marlborough brings together my two passions – science and the outdoors. My job is varied.

One day I might be focusing on the 0% alcohol range and the next our 30-year-old Clayvin vineyard, which produces our awarded organic wines. 

Duncan Shouler of Giesen Wines.

What do you enjoy about sauvignon blancs?

You know what you’re going to get with our sauvignon blanc. It’s always consistent and immediately recognisable in flavour and aroma. It’s a real crowd-pleaser and our bestseller around the world. 

Why is sauvignon blanc regarded as a good drink over summer?

It’s got to be the tropical fruit and citrus flavours! You honestly can’t go wrong with a crisp and refreshing glass of sauvignon blanc on a hot summer’s day. Whether it’s from our 0% range or Estate range, you won’t be disappointed. New Zealand sunshine in a glass.

Has the production of low and no-alcohol wines changed in recent years? 

Yes. We’ve invested over $2 million in spinning cone technology, and it has been a game-changer. It allows us to gently distil alcohol and aroma from the wine at low temperatures without affecting the quality of the wine.

You know what you’re going to get with our sauvignon blanc.

Can you explain how it’s done? 

It’s best described as a step-by-step process. The first step is to make our full-strength New Zealand wine as we would normally. The second step is to use spinning cone technology to gently distil the wine into three layers: aroma, alcohol and body. In step three we carefully collect the aroma and add it back into the body of the wine, leaving the alcohol behind. The fourth and final step is to add a touch of premium grape juice to round out the final blend. There you have it! And if you’re wondering what happens to the alcohol, we pass it on to our distillery partner, Strange Nature Distilling, to make gin. 

What are you working on at the moment?

The low and no-alcohol trend is keeping us very busy, and is definitely here to stay. You can definitely expect to see some exciting new launches from Giesen in the future. We have just introduced a riesling to the 0% range and, as I said before, we’re not ones for sitting still. We’re very excited about a new addition to our 0% range that is in the pipeline. So excited, in fact, you could say we are fizzing with anticipation!

What’s your other favourite tipple in summer?

A beer. After finishing a hard day’s work in the vineyard, I really enjoy a crisp pilsner. I’m also partial to an Islay single malt whiskey. The smell transports me back to stepping off the ferry for our holidays in Islay when I was a kid.

Tasting notes

The fresh citrus notes and acidity of our light-bodied sauvignon blanc makes it the perfect accompaniment to fish and seafood dishes.

Giesen Pure Light 6% Sauvignon Blanc

Giesen Pure Light 6% Sauvignon Blanc

Crisp and refreshing, expect tropical fruit and citrus flavours with nuances of freshly cut herbs.

RRP $16.

Giesen Estate Sauvignon Blanc

Giesen Estate Sauvignon Blanc

Aromatically expressive and generously flavoured with freshly cut herbs, scrumptious tropical fruit and subtle notes of blackcurrant leaf.

RRP $16.99.

Giesen 0% Sauvignon Blanc

Giesen 0% Sauvignon Blanc

Juicy brightness with vibrant fruit flavours and freshly cut herbs.

RRP $18.99.

All are available from Dan Murphy’s.

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