Jules Taylor – MC
Jules Taylor is one of the hardest working winemakers in Marlborough. No. Make that New Zealand, wait…make that the World. You see where we’re going with this right? There’s a very good reason that Jules Taylor has been given the role of being our MC for the event and that’s because when it comes to making pinot noir, if Jules hasn’t been there, seen it, done it and bought the t-shirt; then it’s not worthy of your attention. Fervently fanatical about how fabulous life is in Marlborough, there was no question as a youngster, that this wouldn’t be her home forever. Yet despite growing up during the explosive 80’s, when Marlborough was proving to the world that it was sauvignon nirvana, Jules thought it would be a cracking idea to go to university and get a degree in Zoology.
When she arrived home after Uni, sadly the last Zoologist job in Blenheim had been snapped up, so there was nothing else for it than to do a postgraduate course in viticulture and winemaking at Lincoln. What followed was an arms-length list of work spanning Vintech in Marlborough, Piedmont, Sicily, Australia and Cloudy Bay, settling up at Marlborough Valley Cellars where she met the three people who’d end up her mentors Kim Crawford, Simon Waghorn and Matt Thompson.
It was they who encouraged Jules to launch her own brand and thusly, in 2001 Jules made her first, 200-case batch of Jules Taylor pinot gris and riesling. Fast forward sixteen years and she has a smorgasbord of varieties under her moniker, adding sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot noir and rosé, with gruner veltliner and arneis in the pipeline.
Sauvignon however, is her obsession. This is evident by all the heavy metal sitting in the Jules Taylor trophy cabinet for that variety. She won her first Champion Sauvignon Blanc trophy at the Air New Zealand Awards a decade ago and now she’s seeking world domination.