Situated in the picturesque Waitaki Valley, the three-person Q Wine team delivers a beautiful range of terroir-driven wines that are intense, balanced, and distinctive. Back in 2002, wine-enthusiast Jules Stephan obtained a block of land in the Waitaki Valley—an area used mainly for sheep farming. With the help of businesswoman Jules Matthews, Stephan and Matthews were able to realise a dream of producing exceptional wine for the sheer love of it. The fertile soil and the unique qualities of the terroir allow Q Wine to produce premium wines that reflect the beauty of the region.
Q Wine is grown on a single vineyard in a challenging, yet extremely rewarding Northern Otago terroir. The limestone-rich soil coupled with the long and dry ripening seasons makes the area perfect for making taut, edgy, and powerful wines. The vines are planted densely so that each vine only has to bear a small amount of fruit. Low yields produce fantastic wine with superb concentration. Traditional technique and a boutique approach mean that all of the grapes are hand-harvested—something that comes through in every bottle.
French winemaker, Antony Worch has been chief winemaker of Q Wine since 2012. His pragmatic approach to carefully monitoring and controlling each step of the winemaking process helps him to create the bold flavours present in Q Wine. To Worch, each season brings its own personality. Q Wine has planted Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris. From the Pinot Noir they make Rosé, and from the Chardonnay, a limited release of Méthode Traditionnelle. On exceptional vintages, the Pinot Noir fruit from the vineyard’s seven terraces is kept separate and presented in hand bottled Magnums. Worch believes that Pinot Noir is an interesting wine that showcases the terroirs. He thinks that Pinot Noir should be “seductive and appealing, not extracted or showing off.”
Being interested in agriculture helps Worch thoroughly understand the land and the relationship it has with the viticulture. “Being part of the development of a fairly new wine region, I’m happy that people can drink my wines and come back to them in the future understanding what I’ve been trying to achieve. There is something to enjoy or to learn in any wine.”
Worch notes that the New Zealand wine industry is quality driven and sustainability oriented. He notes that Q Wine is very aware of the need to undertake winemaking sustainably—always looking for ways to improve each task in the winemaking process.
Q Wine is sold to select restaurants and luxury lodges in addition to growing Q Member direct sales online. Looking forward, Worch hopes to be able to continue making wines while delighting in the process of doing so.
With the combined knowledge and expertise of Antony Worch and the directive vision of Jules Matthews, Q Wine continues to produce immaculate wines that mirror the rugged charm of the South Island.