Just one chance to get it right

Hawke's Bay Today - - Wine Series -

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?

Chardon­nay.

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.

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