Just one chance to get it right
Winemakers put their hearts and souls into producing delicious wines. A winning vintage is a tribute to everyone involved in the winemaking process. This year’s New World Wine Awards once again features several Hawke’s Bay winners. asked the winners some questions. This week it’s Brett Fullerton, head winemaker at Selaks Group.
Why do you think Selaks’ The Taste Collection Berries & Cream Hawke’s Bay Rose 2018 was a winner?
It has great aromatics and a rich and rounded mouthfeel.
Is there a stage of the winemaking process when you can tell a vintage will be good?
A great vintage starts in September up to six months before the grapes are even picked. You need to get through budburst with no frost, have settled weather over flowering, a nice hot, summer, then no rain when the grapes are close to
being ready to harvest.
What was it about the industry that drew you to it?
I grew up in West Auckland surrounded by the wine industry and fell into it as school and university holiday work. Once I was in the industry it was the variety of the job of a winemaker that made me stay — elements of trade, science and art.
Do you have a favourite wine or vintage that you have made?
The 2013 vintage sticks in my memory for Hawke’s Bay. The summer was hot during the day but the nights were cool — the grapes were optimally ripe while retaining good levels of natural acidity. A great year for reds in Hawke’s Bay.
What is the most rewarding thing for you about winemaking?
Working as part of a team to produce great wine, a process that involves many steps from vine to shelf, and requires a shared vision to get there.
What is the hardest thing about making wine?
You only have one chance a year.
What’s your favourite wine to drink?
So far what has been the highlight of your career?
No one thing, just working with many great people in a great industry.
Tell us something surprising about yourself.
I still have a $20 note earned playing (badly) in a band one night at the Gluepot Hotel in Auckland.
Brett Fullerton, head winemaker at Selaks Group.