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Craig Vanstone Company Viticulturist

A born and bred Marlborough local, Craig’s family has been part of the region’s DNA for five generations.

After finishing his studies in viticulture and winemaking, Craig cut his teeth overseas – doing six years worth of vintages in the likes of Australia, Spain, and France before returning to New Zealand in 2009.

After returning to beautiful Aotearoa, he was drawn to the outdoors and made the switch from winemaking into viticulture. “I had mates in viticulture who were outside in the sun all day – that appealed to me a bit more than doing sulphur testing in a lab,” says Craig.

After working for a few corporates and exercising his entrepreneurial spirit with his own consultancy, Craig moved into contract viticulture management before joining the Giesen Group in January 2020 – just in time for a harvest marked by a global pandemic.

Craig’s history in the region has served him well over the years – first in his role as Grower Viticulturist and into his current position as Company Viticulturist. “I had relationships with a lot of Giesen growers already. Growing up here meant that some of them are my old rugby coaches and things which is really cool.”

That relationship building has been a highlight of Craig’s role. “I love all of my role and how diverse it is, but I particularly love working with the growers,” he says. “Working together to create an end product and then seeing how proud everyone is to produce that product for Giesen, it’s really special.”

Craig cites the Giesen Uncharted Sauvignon Blanc as one of his favourite wines to have worked on, but when it comes to his favourite wine to drink he admits he can’t go past the Giesen Single Vineyard Ridge Block Pinot Noir. He says it’s best served with a home-smoked beef fillet and hearty winter vege salad.

When he’s not strolling the vines, you can find Craig out on the boat fishing or at his bach in the Marlborough Sounds, soaking up the best the region has to offer.