The name Catalina Sounds evolved from the majestic Catalina flying boats that played a vital role across the South pacific during and after World War II. New Zealands famous and largest warbird, the Catalina is a rare sight, in fact there are only a handful of these beautiful, iconic planes left in the world today, and we are lucky enough to be associated with one based right here in New Zealand. Through our sponsorship of this rare, passenger carrying, amphibious flying boat we are in some small way helping to ensure the Catalina continues to grace the skies around the stunning Marlborough Sounds and high over the vineyards in the Waihopai Valley where we have made our home.
We draw inspiration for our wines from these graceful, unique flying boats and the respect in which they are held, together with the pristine and awe inspiring environment of the Marlborough Sounds right on our doorstep. With attention to detail, we strive for our wines to step outside the norm and show individuality and personality, garnering respect wherever they are poured, while harnessing the purity and vibrancy that Marlboroughs climate and landscape are naturally blessed with.
Growing up in Ipswich, Queensland, wine was not something that I crossed paths with on a regular basis. My interest in wine developed serendipitously, thanks initially to a surplus of students at High School wanting to study Japanese, myself included, which saw me unwillingly transferred into French classes. From there however, my interest in French grew and following studying the language right through High School, I went on to major in it at University. Part way through my studies, I took a year off and travelled to France. I bought a bike upon my arrival and spent much of the next twelve months riding throughout the country which inevitably saw me riding through some of the great wine regions of the world. From there I was sold, completely entranced, not only by the wines themselves, but also by the history and culture surrounding wine in France. Upon my return to Australia, I threw in my unfinished Law degree and moved to Adelaide, enrolling in the Oenology course at Adelaide University.
Following working throughout Australia, France, Italy and the United States, Marlborough is very much home for me today. I first worked here in 2005 and as of 2006 have lived here permanently with my wife and more recently our two kiwi children. I have learnt not to expect the Wallabies to win very often, but hope for payback when cricket season rolls around.
My philosophy is simple source outstanding fruit from exceptional vineyard sites. I believe the most critical decision a winemaker makes is deciding when to pick. Once harvested, my role is to simply steer the fruit in the right direction in order to best express the vibrant fruit flavours that Marlborough is renowned for while respecting the subtle differences of each site.
My aspiration at Catalina Sounds is to continue producing excellent quality wines of beautiful fruit expression, interest, finesse and balance. I will strive to create wines of great honesty and integrity that are true to their site, while attempting to incorporate complexity and longevity into the wines.
- Catalina Sounds Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (O?I New Zealand Champion Sauvignon Blanc Trophy) (Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2009, Gold Medal and Trophy Winners)
- Catalina Sounds Sauvignon Blanc, 2008 (International Wine Challenge 2009)