Winemaker crosses to Marisco

KAT PICKFORD
Last updated 11:30 05/12/2012

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Winemaker Matthew Mitchell has joined Marlborough winery Marisco Vineyards as head winemaker, replacing Liam McElhinney.

Mr Mitchell, who was previously a winemaker for small Awatere Valley wine company Crossings for 10 years, said Marisco presented a huge opportunity and a big challenge for him.

"Marisco is clearly growing a great deal, and there is a lot of faith in the brand," he said.

As he was going through the interview process, Marisco Vineyard owner Brent Marris was in the process of purchasing the 2000 hectare Leefield property to expand the wine business.

"It changes the game hugely . . . there is a big few years ahead of planting and resourcing the fruit. It's a very, very exciting time."

Mr McElhinney was part of the Waihopai-based winery's team for four vintages and was leaving to spend more time with his young family, who moved to Auckland last year.

After helping to design and build the Waihopai Valley winery in 2008, it was pleasing to see their wine styles were still "hitting the mark" around the world, he said.

"It's been a big chapter for me . . . I've been privileged to do what I've done and work with a great team."

He was staying quiet about his future career plans.

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- The Marlborough Express

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