Wine Producer Of The Year
Brent Marris’ Marlborough winery Marisco Vineyards, which produced its first vintage just two years ago, has been named New Zealand Wine Producer of the Year by the International Wine & Spirits Competition. Former chief winemaker at both Wither Hills and Oyster Bay, Marris explained his ambitions for Marisco: “I wanted to move away from contract growers so I spent a year trying to find a specific site — I didn’t want a patchwork spread around like everyone else.” So far this model is proving a commercial success. Marris said that he has been approached by a number of large international retailers, as well as securing a deal with the major Chinese distributor, Dynasty Fine Wines Group. “The key players around the world get it,” he remarked. “I can do 100,000 cases of a single vineyard wine.” As for future plans, Marris pointed to a further 20 acres left to plant, expressed a desire to “get more Pinot Noir and Chardonnay planted on the cooler sites”, and enthused about a small quantity of “stunning” barrel fermented Viognier, which he is considering for inclusion in his on-trade focused range, The King’s Series.