About Me

Gavin Hubble - (BSc & Post Grad. Business Marketing) - I started working in the wine industry over 23 years ago in New Zealand. Working in; wine retail, sales, wine production, label & packaging design, marketing, wine buying, consulting and wine education. I am responsible for the Brand Health of 60+ wine brands distributed here in New Zealand. Wine Brands from New Zealand, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Chile and Argentina. I work closely with the Trade Industry - (Retail Stores & Restaurants) introducing, educating and positioning exciting and unique brands to wine enthusiasts all over the world.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Winemaker Series:

Welcome to another in the summer series of winemaker interviews.

Founded in 1937, Brookfields is Hawke's Bay's Oldest Boutique Winery. Peter Robertson bought Brookfields Vineyards in 1977. Peter creates classic wines with grapes only grown in specific vineyard sites and to his strict growing policy - (expressing the essence of place).
"It is my strong belief that superior wine comes from superior fruit; great wines are made in the vineyard”. At Brookfields, Peter lets each vintage speak for itself, giving each parcel of fruit individual attention, so as to best express each vineyard site, grape variety and the age of the vines. Peter is often referred to as 'a quiet achiever', diligently going about his business, shunning the spotlight, letting his wines speak for themselves. And for over thirty years, those wines have certainly been telling a fascinating story.


Peter’s quiet confidence becomes much more vocal when he's talking about his wines, as it should, for they are uniformly brilliant, invariably showing the meticulous attention to detail that characterises the man himself. It is the depth, excellence and it is this brilliance across all varieties that remind you of his talent. I have known Peter and his family for more years than we both can now count, as I have run out of fingers and toes.., but in those years we have shared and enjoyed many a good wine or two.

What first attracted you to the wine industry and as a winemaker?
After finishing a science degree at Otago I worked for Barkers Fruit Wines in Geraldine - I then did a Post Graduate year at Lincoln College.

Where and when did you study winemaking?
While at Lincoln College I worked on a Dissertation with Danny Schuster for a year, and then worked at McWilliams Wines in Napier for three years, starting in 1974.


What is your favourite grape variety(s) to work with and why?
I enjoy working with red grape varieties due to their longevity, however white wine making also has its challenges.

Which person has influenced you the most as a winemaker and why?
While I only worked for Tom McDonald for two years, he was most generous with his wines and knowledge. While sharing an aged Burgundy one Sunday morning he mentioned Brookfields Vineyards was for sale and that I should take a look - the rest is history.

To date what has been you most interesting/challenging vintage and why?
1988 with Cyclone Bola brought 4 inches of rain with it. The white varieties struggled, but there was at least a three week break in the weather before harvesting the reds and they were surprisingly OK!

Which person ‘current’ or ‘past’ would you most like to have met or meet and why?
Romeo Bragato tops my list. He is the foundation to the NZ wine industry.

If you were stranded on a desert island and you could take one bottle of wine with you - what would it be and why?
Aged Bordeaux rate highly - a First Growth from a good year would fit nicely e.g. Ch. Lafite Rothschild.


If you could make wine anywhere else in the world - where would it be and why?
Having spent considerable time in France, I would enjoy being there.

What advice would you give a young person starting out as a winemaker?
Passion and more passion - to work in the wine industry you must be a born optimist.

If you weren’t a winemaker - what would you like to be and why?
If I hadn’t been a winemaker I would have trained race horses. Both are industries which demand passion and commitment.

Brookfields Vineyards Wines are available in New Zealand and around the world from quality wine retailers and restaurants. Or visit their website: Brookfields Vineyards

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