The Family of Twelve – Wine Tutorial

“The Family steps up with our largest single investment in the future of New Zealand wine and its next generation of industry leaders – the Family of Twelve inaugural Wine Tutorial ” Family Chair Judy Finn.

It’s a first and it will be the start of a major investment in the New Zealand wine industry.

It’s the Family of Twelve inaugural Wine Tutorial and it kicks off in July this year.

“The tutorial will be an extraordinary and exciting learning opportunity for the twelve successful wine industry candidates. We believe it will be a world class event” says Family Chair Judy Finn.

Photo left to right: Marek Przyborek (Sky City’s Huami), Karen Fistonich (Villa Maria Estate), Benji Smith (O’Connell Street Bistro), Clive Weston (Nautilus Estate) and Rosie Finn (Neudorf Vineyards)

Photo left to right: Marek Przyborek (Sky City’s Huami), Karen Fistonich (Villa Maria Estate), Benji Smith (O’Connell Street Bistro), Clive Weston (Nautilus Estate) and Rosie Finn (Neudorf Vineyards)

After a great response we’re thrilled to have confirmed a dynamic, high calibre cohort of candidates including Maciej Zimny, director of Noble Rot Wine Bar in Wellington and Marek Przyborek sommelier at Sky City’s Huami restaurant in Auckland. The group also includes Australians Andres Aragon Perez, senior head sommelier at the Merivale Group and Lindsay Carr, group sommelier at The Sam Prince Hospitality Group. Please see for the full candidate list.

The candidates will be tutored by no less than eight Family winemakers including pinot noir specialists Blair Walter of Felton Road, Helen Masters of Ata Rangi and pre-eminent biodynamic producer James Millton of Millton Vineyards.

Alongside the tutors will be two moderators, both Masters of Wine, Michael Brajkovich MW of Kumeu River and external moderator Emma Jenkins MW.

“We have gathered a very smart library of wines, reflecting some of the best examples from across the globe. I think many winemakers will be envious of these masterclasses”.

As a long term commitment the Family has boldly invested a significant proportion of our annual budget in bringing the tutorial to life. The tutorial comes at a time when the New Zealand wine industry’s commitment to the development of its professionals and future leaders appears limited.

“We know our kiwi wine business needs both excellence in marketing and distribution. But it also needs our gatekeepers to be valued and encouraged. The tutorial is a way of expressing our gratitude to the work done on the restaurant and wine shop floor. These people are our ambassadors and we hope these tutorials will help develop the skills of those showing potential to take New Zealand wine’s message of diversity and character to the world.”

“As a producer of quality wine, selling at enviable prices New Zealand relies on our future leaders and ambassadors to nourish this momentum in a personal and committed way – congratulations and all the very best to our candidates.”

The first tutorial will be held at Craggy Range in Hawke’s Bay.

For more information please contact Judy Finn: +64 21 246 0995 Email:

About the Tutorial

The Family of Twelve Wine Tutorial will be an immersive residential seminar held over two working days and three nights. The inaugural tutorial will be hosted at Craggy Range in the Hawke’s Bay 15th-17th July 2018 with subsequent fixtures held bi-annually in different Family locations and open to anyone working with New Zealand wine globally.

Comprising of tasting workshops during the day followed by dinners with wine options and guest speakers the tutorial will challenge candidates in the way they approach wine appraisal and communicating their thoughts about wine. Candidates will be pushed to the limit, learning and tasting in an intensive and competitive environment.

The tastings will feature a wide selection of Family wines including old vintages, perhaps unreleased wines and barrel samples. These will be presented alongside benchmark examples of wine from many of the world’s great wine regions.

At the conclusion of the tutorial one of the twelve candidates will be named Dux. The Dux will collect tickets for two, to a major Australian wine region where they will enjoy a wine experience hosted by our sister family Australia’s First Family of Wine. They will also receive a collection of the Family’s hero wines for their cellar. Another candidate will receive a prize sponsored by The Institute of Masters of Wine to join the first day of the Australasian seminar for MW students in Adelaide.

The tutorial wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. Glassware will be provided by Riedel and mineral water by Antipodes. The Family warmly thanks our sponsors for their support.

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 travelling 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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