For Emmanuel Bolliger and Nicky Parish, it was predominantly their parents that inspired them towards their paths in winemaking and what later led them to become head winemakers at Misty Cove Wines.
Bolliger started out studying computer science back home in South Africa but soon after decided to change his path to agriculture. However, it wasn’t until his father mentioned he should study winemaking that his true passion was found.
For Parish, after spending many summer holidays working at her parent's vineyard, her love for the industry grew from there. Although she never initially set her sights on winemaking due to her brother already being in the industry, after graduating from Lincoln University, she landed herself a job at a winery and never looked back.
Misty Cove Wines, founded by Andrew Bailey, can be found in Marlborough, New Zealand. Because of the location, there is a huge demand for Sauvignon Blanc. However, the pair get to be creative with their smaller batches of wine. Here you can find a Sur Lie Sauvignon Blanc, a blend called Waihopai and a Sauvignon Gris. They also focus their time on aromatic wines like Grüner Veltliner, Gewürztraminer, and Riesling.
The pair like to try to think outside the box and do things that don't always technically fit.
“For our aromatic wines, we use Acacia wood puncheons and barrels. Not many wineries in New Zealand work with Acacia wood,” explained Bolliger.
Bolliger’s philosophy is simple: get the grapes right and do very little in the winery. For Parish, she likes to experiment a bit more while still having plenty of control. “We are kind of like the Yin and Yang of winemaking, you could say,” she explained.
“At the end of the day, it’s back to basics, terroir, fruit quality, and human influence. Human influence comes from experience and learned instinct,” said Bolliger.
Their advice to any aspiring winemakers out there is to try and see as much as you can when it comes to wine. Get immersed in all formats of the winemaking operations and use all the information you have learned to create your own path in the industry.