The Drinking Hour podcast: Natalie Christensen, chief winemaker of Yealands

In Episode 97 of The Drinking Hour, host David Kermode is joined by one of the most respected names in New Zealand winemaking, Natalie Christensen of Yealands, to discuss her journey from classical music to tending vines

Words by Club Oenologique Editors

natalie christensen yealands wine

While many big names in the wine industry come from long lines of grape growers and centuries-old wine dynasties, Natalie Christensen – chief winemaker of sustainable stalwart Yealands Wines in Marlborough – dreamt of a life composing film scores. A classically trained musician, Christensen toyed with the idea of music therapy after completing a masters in psychology, but wine came calling and a harvest job at St. Clair in 2006 turned into a vocation.

In Episode 97 of The Drinking Hour, David Kermode chats to Christensen about her sidestep into wine – via a brief stint as a volunteer fire-fighter – and how her time looking after vines in Rías Baixas on Spain’s northwestern coast inspired her latest invention: a Kiwi Albariño. The pair also discuss Yealands’ minimum-intervention approach and work with concrete eggs, plus Christensen’s hunger to constantly push the boundaries of what’s possible from her patch of earth in Marlborough.

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