Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

What I am drinking, reading and savouring each week


Winemaker of the week... Dave Sutton of Te Kano

This week's interviewee is Dave Sutton, winemaker at Te Kano in Central Otago, who gives his responses to questions based on the famous Proust Questionnaire, originally propelled to fame in the late 1800s.  

Dave Sutton deplores double standards, would love to live in Mexico and thinks physical beauty is the most over rated virtue. The softly spoken winemaker works at Te Kano in Bannockburn, Central Otago or should that be, Bannockburn and Waitaki Valley since the latter is the new home for Te Kano's winemaking as from the 2023 vintage. 

Here is Dave Sutton's take on the Proust questionnaire...

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Wine and good food, friends and family, challenging but meaningful work. Not necessarily in that order.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Jealousy. Competition is normal, but I would always rather feel happy for other peoples success than envious of it.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

A lack of empathy. Every person has their own story, which has shaped them, and applying your values to someone else’s life without trying to understand the position they are in makes us narrow minded and unfair.

Which living person do you most admire?

Aldous Harding.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Wine – by a long way.

When and where were you happiest?

Working at Stony Batter Vineyard during my university Summer holidays in 2004. I was 20 years old and in love, living right on the edge of one of Waiheke Island's most beautiful beaches, working hard with great people and swimming in the sea every evening. It was magic.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I would love to play a musical instrument. Any instrument.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would like to be more content in the moment and not constantly striving for the next milestone. I spend so much energy and time moving towards a goal, and then once achieved, take no pleasure in it. I need to get better at contentment.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Becoming a parent.

Where would you most like to live?

Mexico. Great food, great people and a really beautiful place to explore.

What is your most treasured possession?

Definitely the wine cellar – 20 years in the making, it has some real gems in there now.

Who are your heroes in real life?

All the single mums out there doing it tough.