By Deborah Jackson, editor National Liquor News

New Zealand winery, Matua, and Mildura winery, Deakin Estate are both kicking off 2016 with new additions to their winemaking teams.

Matua, has appointed Greg Rowdon as its new chief winemaker, effective 8 January. 

Rowdon has worked with Matua for the past 18 years as a cellar hand and masters student, and Richard Gardner, director of wine production at Matua, said it's an honour to appoint someone with such a long standing history with the brand.

“Greg understands our values, our culture and our wines intimately – and he will continue to nurture the Matua style and our unrelenting focus on quality that has helped us become one of New Zealand’s most internationally acclaimed wineries,” he said.

“It’s been a delight to see Greg blossom through the ranks at Matua right up to Chief Winemaker. He’s an incredibly talented, hard-working winemaker with an enormous passion for the New Zealand wine industry, and I look forward to Matua wines rising even further under his leadership.”

Rowdon's appointment to chief winemaker follows Nikolai St George’s decision to pursue new challenges and finish up at Matua in early January 2016.

According to Rowdon, St George handed him an incredible baton: “Nikolai’s legacy will live on at Matua, he’s implemented so much in the winery to ensure that Matua wines only keep getting better. I’m excited to be able to continue the great journey and to do my best to take it to the next level with the winemaking team,” he said.

Deakin Estate in Mildura has also appointed a new assistant winemaker in Aidan Menzies, who will begin his role on Australia Day.

UK-born Menzies' first winemaking position in Australia was at Angove’s, followed by his most recent role of white winemaker at Kingston Estate, a position he held for three years.

He says: “Deakin was suggested to me by my former boss Tony Ingle as being a good winery with an excellent winemaker, who could teach me to become a fully rounded professional. I am fairly sociable and go stir crazy topping barrels on my own all day in a four tonne winery, so the size of Deakin appealed as well.

"I think it will present a good challenge and the opportunity to work closely with the vineyard also interests me. I really like viticulture and believe if you get it right in the vineyard, the winemaking largely takes care of itself. Exploring alternative varieties and trialling different vineyard practices will be great too."

Deakin Estate’s senior winemaker Frank Newman welcomes Menzies saying: “Aidan aspires to make the best possible wines and to that end he has brought his world experience in the UK, USA, Italy and NZ with him to Australia. He has worked for three companies since coming to Australia, so he has developed a mindset that will meld well with Deakin Estate’s philosophy of providing wines of value and interest.”


The Shout Team

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