Winemaker Todd Stevens heads the overall production effort from vine to bottle and his role is to draw the various strands together to craft wines of distinction, wines that express their sense of place Todd, Stef and Tim are the triumvirate charged with shaping the wines for Neudorf. Luckily all three hanker after the same subtlety and cherish textural interest over blasting flavour.
The ever helpful and capable assistant winemaker Simon McGuire, is joined over vintage by an assortment of young French, German or American interns here on their OE. They provide an international perspective and a lot of laughs.
Our Viticulturalist is Stef Brockley, and his extensive experience in viticulture and organic production systems are invaluable as we strive for ever greater wine quality and a healthy vineyard.
The vineyard team are the core of what we do here and their work in the vineyard is vital. Nicole Jackman is the vineyard supervisor with Michael Christie on tractors. They are helped from time to time by a rich assortment of people ranging from locals we have known for years, to young folk backpacking their way around the world and in need of a few weeks work to keep them going. These people work the hard yards in all sorts of weather – cold for winter pruning, hot for summer leaf plucking. They deserve that DB or Townshend's.
In marketing we have Rosie Finn – she’s our brand manager and digital developer as well being the inspiration behind Rosie’s Block Chardonnay.
At the cellar door the wine keeps flowing. We're both enthusiastic about wine and helping our customers choose wines they will treasure. Lynne Peters fills in all over the place and keeps the place from grinding to a halt.
And heading this team is Ken Packer our general manager. He does a fine job keeping everything in line (helped by Alison Hill), dealing with export orders and the details required by Government to run a small enterprise. He is also in charge of the weekly Rugby bet. Some of us support Crusaders. Some the Hurricanes. All for the All Blacks.
We are lucky to have a group of fine distributors working in markets around the world. Best of all they let us get on with the business of winemaking while they handle the business of selling.
Neudorf founders Tim and Judy Finn are still around to offer a helping hand but are watching with amazement as the team continues to run the business successfully. With this new found spare time Judy is mastering the art of the madeleine (much to the delight of the crew). Tim is planting a native bush block and spending the weekends on the boat with Rosie (both determined to up their snapper game).
Neudorf Vineyards is also a member “The Family of Twelve,”
a group of like-minded winemakers who have banded together to create a unique export marketing group.
The twelve wineries are Kumeu River, Villa Maria, The Millton Vineyards, Craggy Range, Ata Rangi, Palliser Estate, Neudorf Vineyards, Fromm Vineyards, Nautilus Estate, Lawson’s Dry Hills, Pegasus Bay, and Felton Road.
We have known each other for years and share a concern about the trend away from wines of individuality and character towards the ubiquitous and amorphous “wine brands,” where individuality is too often a construct of the marketing department.
Already this venture has proved successful and a whole lot of fun as well. Judy is the current chair of this talented group.