I am a journalist, writer and author. This blog is about wine, words and more...

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About Joelle...

If you have found this online magazine and want to know more, here is a little bit of detail about my writing, wine and life.

I am a journalist, author and wine writer and live in Martinborough, a remote rural wine village in the Wairarapa, 90 minutes’ hilly drive from Wellington city. I trained to be a journalist on an old fashioned typewriter at Wellington Polytechnic in 1989.

I have since written about design, gardens, nudist camps, sperm donors and a raft of other weird and wonderful topics for a vast number of news stand magazines as well as written for most of New Zealand’s large daily newspapers.

I am the published author of 15 books about wine and hold the Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s highest qualification, the Level 4 Diploma.

When not writing, tasting wine for work or enjoying it for pleasure, I love music, cooking for friends, travelling and walking in the hills.

My turangawaewae is the South Island of New Zealand.

Like all published authors, I am working on the next book…

Enough about me. If you’d like to get in touch...

Women in wine profile - MJ from Craggy Range

May 20, 2022
She loves champagne, Riesling and her family and she loathes cork taint. Mary-Jeanne Hutchinson is the woman behind the stories of Craggy Range Wines, a Hawke's Bay winery with more vineyard land in Martinborough's majestic Te Muna Valley. She works as an ambassador for Craggy Range wines and the br...
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The number of books I have published


The year I wrote my first wine column!


The number of Annual Wine Guides I have written

My Bio

I trained in journalism on an old fashioned typwriter at Wellington Polytechnic in 1989.

  • I currently work as a wine writer and update this website every Friday.
  • I work as a wine advisor at Regional Wines & Spirits; writing and tasting wines from around the world on an (almost) daily basis.
  • I am on the judging panel at the 2019 Marlborough Wine Show.
  • I have judged at wine shows regularly since 1995; mostly in New Zealand and also in Australia and South Africa.
  • I hold the Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s highest qualification, the Level 4 Diploma.

  • I write for Good magazine, NZ Winegrower, Drinksbiz, Capital magazine and www.joellethomson.com
  • I wrote my first wine column in 1994 and am the author of 16 wine books (published by New Holland and HarperCollins), including 10 annual wine guides.
  • I regularly host wine tastings for private and corporate groups.
  • My teaching spans many years at the New Zealand School of Food & Wine in Auckland where I taught certificate wine courses (both New Zealand and the WSET – Wine & Spirit Education Trust).

I remember the first moment I fell in love with wine on a dark and stormy night, literally, when I was bitten by the big buttery Chardonnay bug at a cafe in Wellington, New Zealand, in the late 1980s.