The Mark Wine News Winter '18 Volume 8.1 - Page 9

more to add. “It’s also the size of Italy, but with only 4.6 million people. It has pristine water and air. It’s mostly un-spoilt. There is no nuclear power and 90% of electricity is generated by hydro,” he adds, “and the seafood is unbeatable, especially the oysters. Trust me!” I do. “And it’s perfect with our Sauvignon Blanc.” of course! Sauvigon Blanc is also a favorite to make. “It’s very unique and has many ways to approach it. We have 6 diff erent Sauvignon Blanc’s in the U.S. and they are all unique; from fresh and zesty Estate Sauvignon Blanc, the more selective Brothers Sauvignon Blanc, to the barrel-fermented August, to the Single Vineyard Selections from Dillons Point and Matthews Lane vineyards, to the delicious (usually botrytis) Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc.” But it’s not actually Theo’s favorite grape to drink, though he doesn’t like to pick favorites, however, “I love Chardonnay,” he admits, “and Marcel, Pinot Noir, but Alex loves Sauvignon Blanc, even with a rare steak!” As I watch my three youngest children squabble over pretty much everything, I was wondering how it’s been for these three brothers to work together, live near each other, and have lives that are seriously intertwined. Well, thankfully much better than my trio. “We’re a family run winery owned by three brothers who get on really well and have for over 35 years. We all bring diff erent strengths and qualities to the business and are very tolerant towards everything,” says Theo. I’m thinking tolerance is the key word there. And from what I’ve read about all three brothers over the years, they also have similar passions, humor and compassion. They are also a progressive bunch. “Giesen was part of the Stelvin initiative in 2002 and we do not use cork in any of our products. We did lose some business early on as we refused to use cork, but the large orders from accounts like United Airlines came back later anyway for Stelvin.” The brothers also really like preaching New Zealand to the whole wide world. “Not only our wines, but all New Zealand wines have in our opinion a very high standard in the world of wines still to be discovered by some, where conservative gate keepers still have to wake up.” I have no doubt they will. The quality and excellence coming out of New Zealand has always been strong. “The standard of vineyard practice and winemaking is still on the rise and I expect signifi cant quality rises in the future,” adds Theo. The industry is very inventive and progressive without losing sight of its ‘Turangawaewae’ - the place or places we feel especially empowered and connected to.” Life in the wine industry in New Zealand hasn’t always been easy, admits Theo, but it’s been pretty fabulous he says. “ Yes, I have wondered why I chose the things I did sometimes, especially with droughts, frosts, hail, over-supply, under-supply and all the other challenges of agriculture. But I love it! It’s been exciting and gratifying, to be part of the New Zealand wine community since such early days. We’ve seen a “It was such early days of winemaking in New Zealand but we knew wine and we knew how to grow vines in a cool climate.” -Theo Giesen Marcel, Alex, and Theo Giesen (The Giesen Brothers) WINTER 2018 7