Left a corporate job in Chile to start her own vineyard from scratch
- Emma lived in Hawke's Bay as a teenager which instantly sparked her love for the industry and trained at Adelaide University.
- When running one of the smaller wineries for a large Chilean wine company she met her husband Marcelo then headed back to NZ to carve her vineyard from scratch.
- Emma uses minimal intervention in all her winemaking practices!
Map of the Vineyard
Emma Lowe's Story
After growing up on a farm, my parents moved to Hawke?s Bay when I was in my final year of high school, and trying to decide what life should hold once I stepped out of the school gates for the last time.
Well, moving to a region full of vineyards opened my eyes to a brand new possibility that encompassed travel, adventure and working in an industry where people are enthusiastic and passionate about what they do!
My wine knowledge was small but I headed off to Adelaide University (formerly the Roseworthy Agricultural College course) to remedy that and four years later left with knowledge and enthusiasm to conquer the winemaking world.
There is a lot to LOVE about winemaking. I love the challenge of making a product from scratch that changes from year to year with the seasons. I love the people that are drawn to this industry. I love the variety (from vineyard to winery) that my job brings. I love having had the opportunity to live and work with many different people in many different cultures.
I'm also lucky to have the support of my awesome husband / vineyard manager /chief cook who does a great job in the vineyard and even helps out in the winery if he really has to. I also have a lovely baby girl whose smile makes the most challenging days all worth while!
My five winemaking philosophies? Well...
- A winemaker should regularly leave footprints in the vineyard
- Winemaking is about preserving and enhancing the flavours of the grapes
- Ageing on yeast lees adds depth and texture
- Barrel ageing needs to be carefully balanced with fruit freshness
- Tasting other wines is paramount to improving your own!
There are of course a few things that aren't so great about the job, like the paperwork and all the bureaucracy hoops you have to jump through! But it's still an industry I absolutely love.
The maddest thing I've done for the love of wine? Leave a cushy corporate winemaker job in a large Chilean wine company to return to a bare piece of stony land in New Zealand to carve out a vineyard with my Chilean husband, Marcelo. Then to design and build our own winery and brave the world of wine sales to launch our own brand Monowai.
A few other Naked Truths about Emma:
- ?If I wasn't working in the Wine Industry, I could imagine myself... working in tourism.?
- ?If I could request any meal in the world to accompany my favourite wine (a Pinot Noir), I'd order... a peking duck.?
- ?If I could hop on a plane tomorrow to any other winemaking region in the world, I would go to... Colchagua valley, Chile, to catch up with friends for some of the best BBQing in the world accompanied by a delicious rich smooth Carmenere.?
- ?If I had to offer one piece of advice on what makes a good winemaker, my pearl of wisdom would be... cross an artist, a scientist, a plumber and an electrician to get someone creative who pays attention to the details and has good practical problem solving skills.?
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