If you could choose any bottle of wine to drink tonight, what would it be?
RD: Given that the evenings are getting cooler, 2012 Coal Pit Pinot Noir is the wine we’re drinking at home at the moment which, of course, I’m absolutely loving. But during the summer evenings I couldn’t wait to sit down with friends and family, and enjoy some delicious cheese and a glass of 2018 Coal Pit Rosé.
How did you come to own a small winery on a back road in Otago’s coolest wine sub-region?
RD: I studied Advanced Urban Horticulture in Australia and decided that owning a vineyard and producing the very best grapes possible was where my heart was leaning. Before moving to Ireland for two years I looked around but it was my brother-in-law, the late Peter Walker, who heard that Coal Pit vineyard was for sale. We approached a number of people for advice, including Alan Brady, the godfather of Central Otago wine. He assured me this was an excellent site and that I shouldn’t hesitate. I’ll always be so grateful to Peter and Alan for their direction.
What’s your biggest wine success to date?
RD: It’s difficult to say but it was an honour for our 2014 Coal Pit Pinot Noir to win a trophy and gold medal at the 2016 International Wine Challenge, which is regarded as the world’s most meticulously judged wine competition with literally tens of thousands of wines entered from around the world. The same wine also won Pure Elite Gold at the 2015 Air New Zealand Wine Awards. That said, the biggest wine success is really having a great team of people around me who are all energetic, accomplished and fun to work with.