The Drinking Hour podcast: Winemaking in Hawke’s Bay

In episode 162, David Kermode is joined by three of Hawke's Bay's finest winemakers to discuss the region's storied past, the challenges faced by the area's winemakers and their verdicts on the latest vintage

Words by Club Oenologique Editors

Hawke’s Bay’s temperate climate and plentiful sunshine make the region a natural home for vineyards

In episode 162, David Kermode visits New Zealand’s Hawke’s Bay. He spends time with three of the major players in New Zealand’s wine industry, who each give their analysis of the current vintages.

The first stop on Kermode’s New Zealand tour is one of the great family winemaking names in the region, Nick Buck, chief executive of Te Mata Estate. Buck explains why Hawke’s Bay has the perfect grape-growing climate, talks through the long history of the estate and gives his verdict on the latest release of the Bordeaux blend Coleraine, Te Mata’s flagship wine.

Next, Kermode sits down with legendary New Zealand winemaker Steve Smith MW of Smith & Sheth, formally of the pioneering Villa Maria, to discuss his part in the Hawke’s Bay wine scene and how he has witnessed the industry change throughout his career.

Kermode’s final guest is the current head winemaker of Craggy Range, Ben Tombs. Tombs explains what makes Hawke’s Bay Syrah shine, the importance of clonal diversity and the work Craggy Range has done to improve canopy management in its vineyards.

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