In 1983 Marcel Giesen travelled to New Zealand to join his brothers Theo and Alex who had journeyed across from Frankfurt back in 1980 and purchased a 28ha sheep farm in Canterbury that looked promising for grape growing. Marcel had a German winemaking apprenticeship under his belt and was itching to put roots down in this fledgling wine industry down under.
Seeing the potential in this exciting new land Marcel decided to increase his winemaking knowledge by returning to study at Germany’s Weinsberg University in 1986, followed by busy vintages in Europe and research trips through California and Oregon and Burgundy. Fast forward 30 years and not only is Giesen Wines one of the most successful family owned wine companies in New Zealand, but Marcel is also co-owner of Bell Hill Vineyard in Waikari, North Canterbury with wife Sherwyn Veldhuizen. A champion of sustainable winegrowing, Marcel’s tireless devotion to conveying New Zealand’s pristine terroir through its wines all while ensuring the land is nurtured toward a sustainable, natural future, is well known.
When he’s not making wine or working in the vineyard, Marcel embraces New Zealand’s outdoors and produce with classic German gusto, hiking, fishing and happily cooking up a storm.