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Great People

Nikolai St George Chief Winemaker 2016 - 2020

Nikolai St George lead Giesen’s winemaking team from 2016 - 2020 ensuring they created a collection of wines for wine lovers across the world to enjoy. He was awarded his fourth ‘Winemaker of the Year’ title during his fourth vintage with Giesen.

At the 2019 New Zealand Royal Easter Wine Show in March, Nikolai was named Winemaker of the Year 2019 with Giesen receiving a further three trophies.

Acknowledging the Award, Nikolai said it was a delight to be named Winemaker of the Year with Giesen. “This award’s recognition of the strength and depth of talent in the entire Giesen wine production team.” “Being a family owned business we’re close-knit and everyone from our long-term growers, to our viticultural and past and current winemaking team, have had a hand in the outstanding quality of our wines, which has led to this award.”

“We are also fortunate to have amazing vineyards such as the legendary Clayvin and our organic Ridge Block as well as 11 other sites across Marlborough’s Wairau Valley,” Nikolai said.

“It’s amazing to be part of this team and help Giesen Group build upon its success. Giesen has achieved so much and yet it still feels like we’re on the cusp of something great.”

Originally from the King Country, Nikolai’s winemaking career has taken him around New Zealand and the world – including stints in Chile, France, Australia and the United States.

Nikolai’s driving force is a determination to create great tasting wines that people love to drink. He says experience over multiple vintages has taught him that wine shouldn’t be pretentious. “The best wines I have had are not usually ones from the great Chateaus or Domaines. My most unforgettable wines complement an occasion -that could be travelling or dinner with family – at its essence wine is about sharing.”

It’s this understanding which drives his winemaking philosophy. Nikolai crafts wines that have a sense of place, and tell the story of the growing season. His practical, rural Kiwi upbringing means he embraces the season and adapts his winemaking to work harmoniously with what nature provides.

Nikolai and his family love getting out and exploring Marlborough. Unfortunately for Nik the family have seen through his generous offers of day trips and recognise most are thinly disguised reconnaissance to find great dive spots. In addition to his family – and winemaking – Nikolai’s passion is the ocean, especially free diving for seafood or spearfishing.

Nikolai was Giesen’s Chief Winemaker from late 2016 to mid 2020.

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With four decades of winemaking experience, we believe in offering a wine for every occasion including when you're not drinking alcohol.