Brightwater Vineyards welcomes new winemaker Liam Clarke.
We have a new winemaker at Brightwater Vineyards. He is Liam Clarke who has come to Nelson from Western Australia. Liam was the successful applicant out of 50 applicants.
Liam has been making wine for about 17 years and has been running a wine business for a number of years, “in that I did everything from pruning, helping hand pick fruit, making the wine and helping market and sell it. It was the nature of the business and what I took on, it was also half the size of Brightwater Vineyards.”
“I really enjoy a hands on approach, I like to get my hands dirty, put some blood, sweat and tears into my winemaking and my experiences mean I can bring some new ideas to this job. It isn’t about coming in, throwing everything away and saying do it my way but I have a different approach that I can share with Dale Springer, the viticulturist at Brightwater.”
When Liam was working at Heafod Glen Wines (his previous role before this) he was a top 10 finalist for Australasian Young winemaker of the Year in 2012 and “while I didn’t win, it showed the wines I was making were good wines.”
“I’m excited to be here and the opportunity to work with new fruit and varieties I don’t have a lot of experience with, varieties like pinot noir and pinot gris. I have lots of ideas, but I have a lot to learn to.”
“There are maybe a handful of aspects of making wine and growing grapes that are hard and fast you interfere with at your own peril, then there are a thousand variables and it’s those variables I get to play with as a winemaker. From the vineyard to the bottle, I need to look at all the variables to make the wine Gary, Valley and I want to make.
“I’m not looking at not breaking the wheel but I am excited about what I can bring to the table.”