The lit­tle wine com­pany that could

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

pro­ject with his mate and fel­low crick­eter Jar­rod En­gle­field. He then thought it would be a good idea to start mak­ing his own wine here in Marl­bor­ough.

‘‘We started with ab­so­lutely zero, cre­at­ing the dis­tri­bu­tion and then com­ing back to the sup­ply. So, it’s been a com­pletely dif­fer­ent way of look­ing at the in­dus­try, and do­ing ev­ery­thing our­selves, and the whole learn­ing process along the way.

‘‘It’s been pretty epic to be able to do what we’ve done.’’

Bai­ley, a wine school dropout, says he learned ev­ery­thing on the job.

‘‘I guess you could call me a gum­boot wine­maker.

‘‘I stud­ied for a cou­ple years, didn’t fin­ish my de­gree and I’ve learned ev­ery­thing on the job. There is no hard and fast rule­book that I run by.

‘‘We never started, or I never started, with the in­ten­tion of do­ing what I do to­day.

‘‘It was never the idea … We started with 30,000 bot­tles, you know, it was noth­ing.

‘‘To­day is a com­pletely dif­fer­ent story. Last year we pro­cessed three and half thou­sand tons,’’ he said.

Misty Cove also pro­duced a gruner velt­liner and pinot gris in a re­gion fa­mous for sau­vi­gnon blanc, which both won big in the New Zealand Wine of the Year Awards 2018. Their pinot gris took out the Dish Mag­a­zine Cham­pion Pinot Gris – Brother Cyprian tro­phy, and the gruner took out the Other White Wine cat­e­gory.

Then there’s those pesky cans. Like ’em or lump ’em, it seems that they are here to stay, as other big winer­ies are start­ing to cot­ton on too.

‘‘The orig­i­nal idea with the cans kicked off in the Nether­lands.

‘‘There was a Ger­man and Dutch guy who ba­si­cally who had this idea … The idea had stuck with me, they ap­proached us to put New Zealand sau­vi­gnon in it.

‘‘The idea has al­ways been there and I al­ways wanted to do it.

‘‘I think one thing that wine in a can has had a bad rep over the years over, was poor qual­ity. Now, with the tech­nol­ogy that goes into the cans, the lin­ing, the fill­ing, the un­der­stand­ing of how it works. The qual­ity, you can put good qual­ity wine into a can and it can last. It’s proven.

‘‘It chills down, and it’s great for out­doors, pic­nics, life­style, that sort of thing.

‘‘And funny, ya know?

‘‘It’s also great for lit­tle old ladies who want to have a smaller serv­ing.’’

Not shy about speak­ing straight about the pre­ten­sions of wine cul­ture, Bai­ley said his wine­mak­ing phi­los­o­phy was a sim­ple one.

‘‘For me it’s more about the pro­duc­ing great wine and some­thing to drink with great friends, telling a great story and sell­ing a great prod­uct in the world, and just get­ting on with it rather than hav­ing to worry about all the in­tri­ca­cies in be­hind the wine­mak­ing, I guess.’’

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