Since leaving their last roles as winemakers / general managers at the prestigious Tower Estate and Tempus Two wineries in the Hunter Valley, winemakers Sarah-Kate (SK) and Dan Dineen have quietly built a winery, a new home, developed the Maude wine label and started a family amidst the stunning back drop of Lake Wanaka in Central Otago, New Zealand. It is no surprise to wine industry insiders that their wine, Maude, has become an instant success. But like any supposed 'instant' success there lies an enormous amount of energy, experience and professionalism behind a project, which epitomises this winemaking couple.
Part of the motivation to move to Central Otago was the eternal search for the holy grail of winemaking, Pinot Noir perfection, and to join forces with Sarah-Kate's vineyard owning parents, Dawn and Dr Terry Wilson. The family were excited by the opportunity to combine Sarah-Kate and Dan's strongly held belief in sourcing grape varieties from the regions that they best perform in, complimenting the exquisite small quantities of single vineyard fruit that Dawn and Terry produce at their Mount Maude vineyard.
In keeping with their philosophy of sourcing grape varieties from the regions that they perform best, Maude obtain their Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris from Central Otago and Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough.
"It certainly is the spot to make Pinot Noir - we currently have 26 different parcels in the winery, split into Central Otago sub-regions, vineyard sites, vineyard blocks and Pinot clones (of which we trialed 8 different clones) and all offer different attributes towards the holy grail."
Sarah-Kate, post vintage 2006