Winemaker Kevin Judd registered the name Greywacke in 1993 with the intention of one day using it on a wine label of his own. In 2009, his desire to do his own thing won out and he decided to start Greywacke. He was met with immediate success. The name ‘Greywacke’ was a nod to the prevalence of rounded greywacke stones found in the soils of Kevin and wife Kimberley’s first Marlborough vineyard in Raupara.
Judd didn’t particularly start out as a fan of wine itself. “As a young man interested in chemistry and art I was fascinated with the combination of diverse elements in the wine making process,” he said. While Judd was not a wine drinker himself, he chose to pursue a degree in winemaking at Roseworthy Agricultural College in Australia. He still retained his love for art and has developed his career as a photographer alongside his winemaking pursuits.
Greywacke generally aims for riper fruit from lower-yielding vineyards, something which Judd believes sets them apart from other winemakers in the region. “We also use a large amount of wild fermentation,” he explained.
The Greywacke label is based primarily on Sauvignon blanc and Pinot noir, with the Sauvignon blanc being produced in two distinct styles, with a business focus is on the restaurant trade and fine wine retail industry. “In both the on-trade and in fine wine retail you have a greater concentration of passionate, knowledgeable individuals who recognise what we’re trying to achieve and can more easily convey this to the end consumer,” said Judd.
Greywacke now exports to over 30 different counties, and has experienced steady growth. “For a small team this keeps us incredibly busy,” said Judd. “We’re just about at the point where we’ll have to ease back on finding new markets.”
Although winemaking can be the most difficult of professions, Judd enjoys the diversity it offers, and the fact that you follow the wine through the whole cycle.
“You create a product from something that you farm, package it and send it to the market,” he says. “Then you sit down with the people who are buying your wines, to drink and talk with them about the wine that you have created. It’s a truly unique and satisfying process.”