Meet our people

Winemaker & Viticulturalist Profiles

Lowburn Ferry Viticulturalist

Nick Paulin

Nick Paulin has achieved more than most in his 15 years in the wine industry. From starting at Felton Road winery in 2004 to being the current President of Central Otago Winegrowers Association and Estate Manager of Lowburn Ferry Vineyard, Nick has a string of accolades including NZ Young Viticulturist of the Year in 2011 and has quickly made a name for himself in the Central Otago wine industry.
Nick

Interview Questions

How many years have you been in the Central Otago wine industry?
15

How did you get started in the wine business?
Have a family history in horticulture and farming, so went off and completed a Bachelor of Viticulture and Oenology at Lincoln University.

What are the most rewarding aspects of your work?
Tasting the hard work in a bottle!

What are the greatest challenges?
Dealing with the challenges nature throws our way, frosts, rain, wind etc. are all out of our control but must be adapted to in order to succeed.

What do you think makes Central Otago unique compared to other wine regions?
Small scale and a focus on quality, a unique climate also with the mountains, rivers and lakes giving us unique scenery and local climates.

How does your winery help tell the Central Otago story?
We make single estate wines which tell the story of our place.

If you weren’t a vintner here in Central Otago, what would you be doing?
Something involved with the land.

What advice would you offer someone trying to get into the wine industry here in Central Otago?
Perseverance, don’t be afraid of getting stuck in at the coal face. Listen to those who have passed before you, there is a great deal of specific local knowledge in our industry as we start to mature out of the young growth phase.

Rudi
Quartz Reef Winemaker

Rudi Bauer

Widely considered as a far-sighted pioneer of the Central Otago wine region, Austrian-born Rudi Bauer gained his degree in viticulture and winemaking in Austria and Germany before coming to New Zealand. It was here that Rudi created Quartz Reef and planted the first vines at Bendigo in 1998. Rudi has been awarded numerous accolades, including NZ Winemaker of the Year in 1999, 2010 and was a driving force behind the first Central Otago Pinot Celebration in 2000 with Alan Brady. In 2019 he was also awarded the “Leadership Award” at The Gourmet Traveller Wine ''NZ Winemaker of the Year" awards for his achievements, leadership and service to the Central Otago and national wine industry.

Interview Questions

How many years have you been in the Central Otago wine industry?
26

How did you get started in the wine business?
As a 15 year old in Bad Voeslau, Austria.

What are the most rewarding aspects of your work?
To bring the vineyard to the glass.

What are the greatest challenges?
For our region to embrace our challenges, as this is our strength.

What do you think makes Central Otago unique compared to other wine regions?
The landscape, our fine range of cool climate varieties and our deeply committed people.

How does your winery/vineyard help tell the Central Otago story?
Quality, custodianship, actively being involved in the wine community.

If you weren’t a vintner here in Central Otago, what would you be doing?
A Hairdresser

What advice would you offer someone trying to get into the wine industry here in Central Otago?
Talk to the locals first and find out what you can bring to the table. Are you taking responsibility of your land? What are your long term commitments and goals? Are you a team player? Have you got leadership skills?

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