Since leaving their last roles as winemakers / general managers at the prestigious Tower Estate and Tempus Two wineries in the Hunter Valley, winemakers Sarah-Kate (SK) and Dan Dineen have quietly built a winery, a new home, developed the Maude wine label and started a family amidst the stunning back drop of Lake Wanaka in Central Otago, New Zealand. It is no surprise to wine industry insiders that their wine, Maude, has become an instant success. But like any supposed 'instant' success there lies an enormous amount of energy, experience and professionalism behind a project, which epitomises this winemaking couple.
Part of the motivation to move to Central Otago was the eternal search for the holy grail of winemaking, Pinot Noir perfection, and to join forces with Sarah-Kate's vineyard owning parents, Dawn and Dr Terry Wilson. The family were excited by the opportunity to combine Sarah-Kate and Dan's strongly held belief in sourcing grape varieties from the regions that they best perform in, complimenting the exquisite small quantities of single vineyard fruit that Dawn and Terry produce at their Mount Maude vineyard.
Hence 'Maude' was created to showcase the very best of New Zealand's wine growing regions and currently consists of a Central Otago Pinot Noir and naturally, a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, with plans afoot for a Pinot Gris to join the fold. In comparison Mount Maude Wines continues to be solely from the family vineyard and in the future will be the pinnacle of the brand.
Sarah-Kate and Dans ultimate goal is to make first class Pinot Noir and illustrating that they don't underestimate the monumental nature of this task Dan has stated;
"It will take a lifetime to truly understand the variety and how it performs under different conditions but SK and I will have a lot of fun learning."
vineyard image © Suellen Boag