In 2020 I found about a new winemaker Eva Pemper who was working in Marlborough and had started making her own wines. I added Eva Pemper Wines to the NZ Wine Directory website and dropped her a note of welcome. Eva sent me a bottle of her first wine to review, her 2019 Sauvignon Blanc and I was extremely impressed.
Eva joined as a ‘Partner in Wine’ and regularly sends me her wines to review – So I am so very pleased to announce that the inaugural “Featured Winery of the Month” is Eva Pemper Wines.
So Who is Eva Pemper?
Eva is from Croatia and arrived in New Zealand in 2012 following her dream to travel, meet people and make wine around the world. She absolutely fell in love with New Zealand and New Zealand wines, people and places.
Eva comes from a wine-making family, so she didn’t have to go far for her inspiration to be a part of something as wonderful as the world of wine. Her parents are her inspiration and are very talented and passionate winemakers. Their love for crafting wine immersed Eva in something that sparked a passion in her and led her to the path she is on now.
Her parents started making wine in a garage with nothing but a strong belief and deep faith that this is what they should be doing. It was hard during the period of war in Croatia, but her family didn’t give up. Eva’s family are all proud of what they achieved in those extremely difficult times, making wine in a war zone is no easy thing!
Eva treasures her family’s inspiration to work for something so interesting, challenging and amazing as making wine. Due to a few sad things that happened there was no business for her to continue when she finished her study so now, here she is on the other side of the world, committed to continuing her family’s legacy and sharing their story.
She holds a master’s degree in wine-making from Agriculture University in Zagreb, Croatia and a Graduate Diploma in Oenology from EIT, Hawke’s Bay. This has given her a deep understanding of wine-making practices from very different parts of the world that she draws on in her wine-making.
From vintage 2012 until 2019 Eva worked for a few different wineries and wine producers in Marlborough together with vintage in France as a consultant winemaker which have all been great experiences that helped her build on her skills and knowledge of different wine-making styles. In 2019 she decided to follow her dream of continuing the family tradition of making great wines.
Eva started EP Wines Ltd with her business partner who owns a vineyard in Marlborough. This means that they have their own vineyards and a secure supply of high-quality grapes which is such an essential resource, ensuring the ability to produce exceptional wine year after year.
About “EVA PEMPER” The Brand
Eva says “The Eva Pemper brand is a product of many wonderful things that came together and became one. Continuing my family’s legacy and sharing our story on the other side of the world is the core of my wines. I feel very special to be able to do that from New Zealand.”
She continues “One of the fundamental inspirations of Eva Pemper wine is the significant influence of Croatian heritage in New Zealand’s wine industry. This history saw families coming here from Croatia over a hundred years ago with just their suitcases, following their dream. Today this dream has resulted in some of New Zealand’s highest profile wine industry people and brands that are well-known and respected here and around the world.”
As the owner of the Eva Pemper brand one of her aims is to inspire young people in wine industry in NZ and all over the world to believe in themselves and to work towards achieving their dreams. Eva says “Little Cupid holding a glass of wine is a legacy from my family’s wine label and represents the love and passion for life that we all can enjoy in a wonderful glass of wine. The Eva Pemper brand is all about premium quality wines targeting restaurants, wine shops, wine bars and online wine sales.”
As a winemaker her vision is to allow the grapes and the vineyards to speak for themselves through the wine and to intervene as little as possible while crafting a delicious drop that represents a certain place in time. Her wine-making style is very simple, she tries to make approachable wines that are easy to drink and can be enjoyed on any occasion, while at the same time they are delicious, fresh and elegant.
The Eva Pemper portfolio currently consists of a Single Vineyard Chardonnay, Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Single Vineyard Pinot Noir and a Single Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosé. Her dream is to showcase the best of each wine region in New Zealand. This could include wines like Central Otago Pinot Noir or Hawke’s Bay Syrah. Eva comments “I am particularly passionate and intrigued by the world of sparkling wine. I am hoping to one day introduce a beautiful bubbly in to the “Eva Pemper” brand as well. That is another dream of mine.”
So… watch this space as I have tasted a few of Eva’s Wines and they are excellent. I’m expecting great things as she expands her range into other varieties and regions– (My notes below.)
Visit Eva’s Website where you can continue reading all about her story, about the wines and of course shop online at:
Eva Pemper Wines https://epwines.nz/
My Tasting Notes on Eva’s Wines
Eva Pemper Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Marlborough NZ
Clear, bright pale straw in colour. Fragrant fruity nose with passionfruit, pineapple and a slight green herb note. Beautifully rounded wine on the palate with crisp lemony citrus acidity, concentrated & juicy tropical fruit flavours, and a grippy, stony mouthfeel. Incredibly long textural finish – classic Marlborough Savvy! Thanks Eva!
Eva Pemper Rose – 2019 Marlborough NZ
Pale watermelon in colour with copper hues. The nose is fragrant with summer berries and citrus blossoms with a hint of spice. The palate has a stony acid backbone with delicious melon, strawberry & citrus pith flavours, and a hint of residual sweetness adding to the mouthfeel – all in perfect balance! Gorgeous & such amazing value!
Eva Pemper Sauvignon Blanc 2020 Marlborough NZ
Bright pale straw in colour with pale green hues. The nose is fruity & fragrant with pineapple, passionfruit & slight herbal smoky back-notes. The palate is big & full flavoured with juicy lemon / grape-fruity acidity, lots of tropical fruit flavours, lovely mouth-feel with an underlying minerality. Long grippy finish! Love it!
Eva Pemper Chardonnay 2020 Marlborough NZ
Brilliant yellow-gold in colour with a lovely oily viscosity (legs.) The nose is enticing with aromas of ripe peaches, grape-fruity citrus, vanilla & yeasty leesy notes. On the palate there’s wonderful creamy layers of ripe stone-fruit fruit & juicy citrus flavours, underpinned with subtle spicey oak influence, lively acidity and silky textures. Finishes dry, juicy and beautifully rounded. A first class Chardonnay in a style I really enjoy – Highly recommend you try this.
Eva Pemper Pinot Noir 2021 Marlborough NZ
Bright garnet to dark cherry in colour. The nose is rich with aromas of dark plum, berry, cherry & some earthy smoky notes in the background. Ripe dark & red berry fruit on the palate complimented with earthy savoury notes, spiced oak, nice grippy tannins, long juicy concentrated finish. Eva’s first Pinot Noir and it is a beautifully made wine as are her Savvy and Chardy! Fabulous sip – love to taste again with a little age.