The Family of Twelve – Inaugural Wine Tutorial Success – Dux Announced

The Family of Twelve – Inaugural Wine Tutorial Success. Dux Announced.

“The Family are very proud to have hosted our most ambitious educational event yet. To support a vibrant future for New Zealand wine and its next generation of industry leaders, the wine tutorial has
created twelve passionate ambassadors for New Zealand wine.” Family Chair Paul Donaldson.

The family are thrilled to have hosted such an engaged cohort of twelve participants at Family wineries Craggy Range and Villa Maria in the Hawkes Bay last week. Congratulations to all tutorial  participants.

The Participants 2018 – Bobby Clark, Lindsay Carr, Marek Przyborek, Benji Smith, Maciej Zimny, Rosie Finn, Liz Wheadon, Adam Balasoglou, Andres Aragon Perez, Fergus Trengrove, Mark Godden, Wayne Shennen

At the Tutorial’s conclusion the Family were delighted to name Andres Aragon Perez from the Merivale Group in Sydney as Tutorial Dux. Andres demonstrated a true passion for wine with the ability to communicate this in an articulate and personable way. We believe he will be a dynamic and engaging wine ambassador. As his prize Andres will return to New Zealand to tour all twelve Family wineries and also receives a collection of the Family’s hero wines for his cellar.

In addition to the Dux the Family are privileged to name Maciej Zimny of Noble Rot Wine Bar in Wellington as the winner of the Institute of Masters of Wine Prize. As the candidate showing most promise for the Institute’s MW education program Maciej will travel to Adelaide, sponsored by the Institute, to the attend their annual educational seminar in November 2018. Maceij also wins an experience to visit the Barossa Valley hosted by our sister family Australia’s First Families of Wine.

Over three immersive days the participants were tutored and challenged to be the best that they could be in a series of compelling blind-tasting workshops tutored by Family members and an external moderator Master of Wine, Emma Jenkins. This format was very effective, enabling the Family to pass on their knowledge and wisdom to the participants.

Tutorial Wine Chair Blair Walter, of Felton Road, said “The workshops and dinners showcased the Family’s best amongst line-ups of fine and fascinating wines from many of the world’s greatest estates; a global context for fine New Zealand wine. Over the three days a small army of volunteer sommeliers deftly poured some 3600 wine tastes from 85 different producers, in 57 wine regions across 11 countries from Argentina to Georgia into hundreds of Riedel glasses”.

Incoming Family Chair, Paul Donaldson says “Wine is all about people so tasting great wines in the company of industry peers, pioneering wine-growers and Masters of Wine added a deep and memorable dimension to the learning experience of these future industry leaders”. Paul adds that “we’re excited to plan the next wine tutorial which again will be open to anyone working with New Zealand wine, wherever in the world they’re based” Dates to be advised but those interested are encouraged to reach out to us at

Such an event wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of our sponsors: Riedel the Wine Glass Company, Antipodes Water, Air New Zealand, Garage Project beer, Australia’s First Families of Wine and the Institute of Masters of Wine along with many wine merchants and wineries who dug deep to help us out.

Please see for a full list of our Wine Tutorial sponsors.
Please see for the full candidate list.
Please see for the full, superb lineup of fine and fascinating wines poured for participants at the tutorial.
Please see for our media release announcing the inaugural Family of Twelve Wine Tutorial, outlining its purpose and the Family’s aspiration for it.

For more information contact Family Chair Paul Donaldson T: +64 21 848 023 E:

About The Family of Twelve
Twelve exceptional New Zealand wineries, eight wine regions, celebrating fine wine and friendship Our members are scattered the length and breadth of New Zealand but we come together to celebrate
our successes, share our stories and knowledge. We also share a desire to create extraordinary wine. We’re New Zealand’s wine family, The Family of Twelve.

Founded in 2005, our vision is to nurture long term relationships with an emphasis on education. Our wines are as diverse as the flora and fauna of New Zealand – and so are we. We all have different stories to tell but with similar threads running through them – of traveling the world, pioneering something new and letting the land speak for itself to help deliver the very best of what wine can be.

Some family trees have legacies reaching through the centuries. Many are nuclear. A few are royal. Not this one – far from conventional, this is a family of wine families.  |   |   |

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