Jules Taylor, Winemaker
Jules Taylor Wines, Marlborough

“With Pinot, you have to get it right in the vineyard,” says Jules Taylor. And get it right she does – the winery that shares her name is making some of the best in Marlborough.

We asked her for her insights into winemaking, Marlborough and what it’s been like to share this region’s winemaking story, almost from the very start.

‘Bright and bubbly, with underlying sexy tones’

Describing Marlborough’s Pinot Personality, Jules breaks it down into two categories. The general feeling (bright and bubbly, with underlying sexy tones) and the general flavour (juicy, fruity, with nice supple tannins and savouriness).

It’s this matter-of-fact sense of humour that aligns Jules so well with Marlborough. “I’ve loved being part of an industry that has grown so much,” says Jules, who was born in the same year that the first vines were planted in the area.

Returning home after four years of study in the early ‘90s, Jules was broke and wanted to learn how to make her own booze. “It just kinda happened,” she says. And it has kept happening, as both Marlborough and Jules Taylor Wines increase their profile on the world wine stage.

Determination in the face of Australians

Jules loves Melbourne dining, and will happily list off her favourite spots in the city. “Supernormal!” she shouts. “And Cumulus for breakfast. And Tonka. And Dandelion.”

She has less delicious memories about an early vintage in her career, in the Hunter Valley. “It was my first or second harvest. I was working on the crush pad, and there was this mechanic – his name was Lavo. He knew nothing about making wine, but he could make the machines work. So I’m on the crush pad and, all of a sudden, this guy throws a piece of rope at me and yells SNAKE! I almost wet my pants! Didn’t put me off though. He was such a hoot!”

I’ve loved being part of an industry that has grown so much.

Jules Taylor, Winemaker, Jules Taylor Wines

Food, cheese and wineries

Jules says that, if she wasn’t making wine, she’d be making something – cheese or bread, probably. As a food-lover, her picks for guests visiting Marlborough include Wairau River for lunch. “It’s just a beautiful setting and the food is superb. And, like most people in the industry, I love food.”

When it comes to recommending other wineries in Marlborough, Jules fires off recommendations with signature quickness. “Mahi, Te Whare Ra, Auntsfield, Dog Point, Villa Maria, Giesen…” And which winemaker would she be if she could swap for a day? “James Millton. He seems to have a really great view on life in general, and it shows through in the wines.”

“I hate it when people say they’re passionate about a variety!” says Jules, who sneaks a Sauvignon Blanc in when asked about her favourite of her own wines in an interview about Pinot. She may not be passionate about a specific variety, but it certainly seems that Jules Taylor is passionate about Marlborough and all its spoils.

Is Marlborough your spirit region? Or is your Pinot Personality tied to someplace else? To find your Pinot Personality and go in the draw to win a trip for two to New Zealand, take our quiz!

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