Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

What I am drinking, reading and savouring each week


Winetopia Wellington - join me for great wines

Winetopia starts in Wellington today Friday 7 June and runs through from tomorrow afternoon into the evening, Saturday 8 June, at the TSB Arena in Wellington. 

Join me and other wine lovers at Winetopia for wine, food and music and a great time. The focus is on having fun in a stimulating, interesting, informative - and completely unpretentious - environment. 

It 's a privilege to host sessions at Winetopia each year. I select the wines for all of my sessions and prepare fresh information to give an informative overview as well as a fun tasting. 

Sessions I am hosting this year include fresh new interesting wines, Martinborough (what's so special about it?) and Powerful Pinots - do they exist? The answer is yes. Here are two of the wines I am looking forward to presenting, along with many others. 

2022 Gibbston Valley Le Maitre Pinot Noir RRP $130

A powerful little number from one of Central Otago’s oldest wineries – Gibbston Valley. This wine is made and named in honour of the winery founder, Alan Brady, who is ‘le maitre’ – the father of the region in many ways. Brady is an incredibly visionary pioneer and this wine is made from vines that he in the early 1980s in the Gibbston Valley, a sub region of Central that is known for its savoury flavour notes in Pinot Noir. It is also dry farmed and certified organic. Beautiful now and will age superbly for up to a decade. 

2021 Nga Waka Pinot Noir RRP $40-ish

One of Martinborough’s best Pinot Noirs and consistently one of my go-to wines. Deeply coloured, dry but juicy, full bodied, smoky but balanced with complex layers of blueberry, fleshy plum and dark cherry flavours, wrapped in a tight core with depth of flavour. Drinks beautifully now and definitely a keeper. A great investment in a wine cellar for up to 10 years. 

If you have not yet booked, tickets are available here: