Say hello to our new Kiwi legend Olly Masters...
- Olly Masters has built a rep as one of New Zealand’s finest winemakers and wine judges. For the last 10 years he’s been making his jaw-dropping wines at the world-famous Ata Rangi.
- So when we got a tip off from his mate, Rod ‘the God’ Easthope, that Olly was itching to go it alone... we hopped straight on the blower.
- Olly’s got a secret knack for turning the world’s trickiest grape into liquid gold. He’s a genius. He’s got more degrees than a thermometer, and has spent 30 years making world-class kit in Hawke’s Bay, Burgundy, and Martinborough where he was winemaking at Ata Rangi for over 10 years.
Olly Masters's Story
Olly Masters's Story
"Originally I did a Biotech degree, during which we studied winemaking and brewing, following that I did a a postgrad diploma in winemaking and viticulture. Whilst enjoying the pursuit of knowledge, I eventually set out on trying to connect this knowledge to the practical world - or even the reality of the natural world! Initially this started in Martinborough which at the time had picked up the baton of trying to produce great Pinot Noir in NZ. My first vintage jobs were with Ata Rangi and Dry River, complete opposites in some ways but both have remained icons. I was winemaking at Ata Rangi for 10 years. Early on I also became involved in wine judging which I retain a strong involvement in, both in NZ and Australia, it's a good way to remain in touch with styles, vintages and commercial reality!
I currently work in many of the grape growing areas of New Zealand and since 2006 have been winemaking for Misha's Vineyard in Central Otago, whilst having my own vineyard and wine consulting business based in Martinborough where I live and farm a small block of organic Pinot Noir and Syrah, which I balance against my air miles.
I have been a winemaker for 27 years, I love the mix of science and creation that growing grapes through to making wine involves. Working or even walking through a vineyard explains as much about the wine as does knowing the % new oak there was.
I think what makes my wines special is that they don't try to be obvious but they do try to represent where they came from. A good wine should walk the line to the end of the bottle with grace, as well as rewarding cellaring, older wine is the great pleasures of life!
If I had to pick a favourite variety I would have to say I enjoy Pinot and Chardonnay particularly for their elegance. But tasting great wines made from any variety is a never ending pursuit
Fortunately I haven't witnessed many real winemaking disasters, if you don't count earthquakes... Opening the lid of a fermenter and knowing there was no way back from what had seemed like a good idea at the time was a good lesson about being very wary of the latest great idea! at least it wasn't my mistake!!
Angel funding will mean they will get a chance to try wines from unique parts of NZ that they may never get a chance to visit or try. There will be opportunities to make more wines like this and they will be good value too!
The opportunity to create wine from unique land and fruit is something I've always enjoyed but normally more as a part of a team, this has pushed me a bit beyond my normal areas of responsibility which is a good challenge.
I feel fantastic to be able to use crowd funding to make wine. Knowing the wine has a direct path to the consumer before the grapes are even picked is great. Funding the wine through the whole process is a new and unique model to me, which has been a pleasure to be involved with. The team at Naked are doing a great job!"
My wine adventure was kick started by Naked Wines. Before that my wine buying was the odd £5 supermarket bottle, but a combination of my own maturing and hitting these forums as a New Angel in June 2015 led me down the path of far more engaging wine conversation and appreciation. If it’s any solace to Naked (worrying about their affect on the weak willed) I’ve seen similar epiphanies in my appreciation of craft beer, whisky and gin. It’s probably an age thing and they do say Life is too short to drink bad wine! Salut