Our Winemaker

 Rod McDonald – New Zealand winemaker of the year 2006
‘Our aim in producing wines for Osawa Wines is to capture the essence of the soils, sunshine and people who ripen and care for the grapes through each season.  All of our winemaking techniques and philosophies are developed the protect the natural flavours and characteristics that make these wines unique’

When I first met Mr Osawa in 2007, it was very obvious he was driven to make wines that were of the highest quality. While tasting and talking about what kind of wines we could make from the Osawa Vineyard, it became very clear that while the Flying Sheep range would be the majority of the production, Mr Osawa was very excited about making some of New Zealand’s finest wines. This resulted in developing the vineyard programme to include work around isolating the very best areas within the vineyard and culminating in the release of the Prestige and Winemakers Collections.

The Osawa Vineyard is perfectly situated within Hawke’s Bay for the production of the highest quality Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. Inland and slightly at altitude, the vineyard enjoys an ideal range of night time low temperature and daytime heat during the growing season. This is critical in the growing of varieties where fragrance and acidity are all important.

The soils and history of the site on a river terrace are ideally suited growing grapes. Free draining and complex, there’s plenty of natural advantages and contribution to wine flavour and character. All of the Osawa wines display a richness, minerality and texture that I believe is directly related to these soil characteristics.

While we are making three very different styles of wines, using fundamentally different techniques and philosophies, one of the most important considerations is that we always deliver the highest quality  at each tier.  Sourcing all our fruit from a single vineyard allows us to manage quality from beginning to the end of the process. This is important.  Having the highest quality fruit gives us the opportunity to remove winemaking intervention and make wines that are more characterful and individual at all price points.

I’m very proud to be involved with Mr Osawa and the Osawa Wines crew. I believe that we have the people and raw materials to make some of Hawke’s Bays and New Zealand’s finest wines. I think that the unique expression of Japanese ideas and philosophies combined with New Zealand vineyards, winemaking, people and attitude, we will produce wines of real character and interest.