Practice: Sustainable, Vegan
Jules Taylor Pinot Noir Marlborough ’18
The grapes for this Pinot Noir were grown in Marlborough’s Southern and the Waihopai valleys by five local farmers passionate about this variety. The fruit was predominantly harvested by hand over a three week period from late March as optimum ripeness was reached in each block.
At the winery a combination of traditional and modern winemaking techniques has been employed in order to incorporate the benefits of both approaches. The fruit was all de-stemmed into small open top fermenters and cold soaked for between 5 and 10 days. Following this the juice was fermented with the indigenous yeast that arrived with the fruit from the vineyards. Following primary fermentation wine also underwent a full malolactic ferment.
Hand plunging during fermentation ensured a good extraction of colour and tannins. Portions of the blend remained on skins post fermentation, while others were pressed at dryness before being transferred to a combination of French oak barrels for maturation. The wine was bottled in March of 2019.
About the Winery
Jules Taylor was born in Blenheim in the early 70s, just as the fledgling local wine industry began planting its first vines. At university she did a degree in zoology. There being a slight shortage of vacancies for zoologists in Marlborough, after completing her degree Jules went on to do a postgraduate course in winemaking and viticulture at Lincoln.
After graduating from University, she took a job at Marlborough’s original custom wineries, Vintech before departing to Europe to participate in the first of her three vintages in Piedmont, Italy. The northern hemisphere’s winters were spent in wineries in Australia and New Zealand, where Jules’s winemaking apprenticeship continued. But it was the job at Marlborough Valley Cellars she took upon her return to New Zealand which really set the future path for Jules. It was here that she came across Kim and Erica Crawford at the time when they were beginning to forge their own successful wine brand.
In 2000, Jules was appointed winemaker at Kim Crawford’s Marlborough Winery and appreciation of her style of winemaking led to the brand’s explosive international growth in the five years of the new century. Concurrently, Kim insisted that she make wine under her own label, adamant that she learn all aspects of winemaking, from sourcing grapes, glass, labels and all of the other details necessary in establishing a brand. The first vintage of Jules Taylor Wines was in 2001
Jules left in Kim Crawford 2008 to focus on her own brand full-time with her business partner and husband, George Elworthy. Since then her Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Grüner Veltliner, Chardonnay and Late-Harvest Sauvignon Blanc have received many awards and citations and the prestigious International Wine and Spirits Competition named Jules Taylor Wines New Zealand Producer of the Year 2013.
Small production, ultra-premium wines.
Jules focuses on single blocks of ultra-premium Marlborough fruit in order to express the elegant terroir of this prized growing region in New Zealand. While Jules owns no acreage, she has exclusive contracts with growers who farm to her specifications and she regularly visits the vineyards in the months leading to harvest to check on the fruit.
The grapes for her OTQ Sauvignon Blanc are sourced from Matt & Pip Ryan’s vineyard in Renwick, six miles due west of Blenheim where Sauvignon Blanc is king. The vineyard rows are situated east/west hence the north-facing fruit is the first to ripen. Only these bunches with beautiful ripe characters are hand-harvested when Jules decides it is time.
Jules divides her time between the enjoyable rigor of winemaking with raising the couple’s two children, Lui and Nico, and enjoying the numerous athletic opportunities afforded in the Marlborough region.
Check out more at: Jules Taylor Wines