Winemaker series: Matthew Goode

Matthew Goode

As I write, Aucklanders are trapped in their city walls, held siege to protect the rest of New Zealand from the inevitable effects of COVID-19. Normal service will hopefully resume once the country is ready.

I’ve resorted to some Zoom catch ups, or, in this case a quick email exchange of questions with my chosen subject. Today we are looking at a new label –  The Goode Wine Company – and it’s sole employee, Matthew…

What’s the background to your new wine label? The background behind Goode company wines is me, I started this company because I love making wine and drinking great wines, it’s my passion, I’ve made life long friends through the industry. The label was made from a few friends in Wellington, who share amazing passion and enthusiasm for wine. My second name is Goode hence the Goode wine company name, for me the wine has to live up to my standards, I like to have minimal intervention and show the best of what I can from the vineyard. 

How do you approach selling your brand (and wine) as a new label – how will you get people to try a wine that’s new? My approach is purely word of mouth for the moment, and also being personable, talking to my cliental, I make wines that can be drunk straight away and will cellar amazing. In the future with size, I will add a website. But I want to be almost a cult like producer, with people finding the wine as it is small batch, it isn’t much work to sell for the moment. But for me it’s always been not what you know, it’s who you know, I am a big networker, I enjoy it. I am a bit unconventional as a salesman, but it seems to work. 

Is there anything you feel is special or unique about the wines you’re producing? I am making wines, I would like to drink, and always like to pay a bit of homage to the old world where I get my inspiration from particularly Alsace, Mosel, Burgundy. The wines I make are not made in the typical Marlborough style, because of this. I try to do things old school, hand picking, basket pressing. I don’t try to rush the process and try do as little intervention as I can get away with as I like to show the vineyard off the best I can.

Can you tell me a bit about your winemaking style? I am old school, I like really do things hands on, getting shit done! I make wines sensually, so taste and feel (I am not a hippie) but I really think doing by feel and taste is the best way and what works for me, I trust my pallet.

What is it about wine that brings you the most joy? Drinking amazing wines with my friends and family, over the years. Drinking old Bordeaux, Burgundy. One experience that will always stay with me was drinking  2004 Francois Raveneau Grand Cru with the bloke Matthew Van Der Spuy that got me hooked on to fine wine a few years back and I never looked back.

Goode wine

Is there a moment in the winemaking year where you just ‘get a feeling’ for what’s going on / going to happen? The day before, me and my cousin Ashton – a aspiring little winemaker – go to pick the Pinot… that’s when I know!

Do you choose fruit from specific vineyards? Yes I have been getting grapes from a amazing vineyard down the Waihopai Valley, owned by Lawson’s Dry Hills, who has been amazing letting me make wine out of the winery and to buy grapes off them. I love the site where it is, on a old river bed. The vineyard is in top condition, Mark does a great job. 

What do you think are any upcoming trends? I am into fine wine, not a fan of hipster natural wine trends. But I do think we should be educating more young guys in the industry in to be making wines to show off these beautiful vineyards we have there and not over making the wines.

What do think is next for New Zealand wines?  We have amazing dirt here. We are great farmers here in NZ, but we are still such a small producer world wide. I think over the next half century there will be a lot of small terroirs acknowledged around NZ, which will be exciting. 

In what ways do you think the NZ wine industry might be affected by Climate Change? I don’t know maybe one day we could get Cabernet Sauvignon always ripe in Marlborough every year. I haven’t researched it much sadly so I can’t give a expert opinion.

Who would you most like to share a glass of your wine with (and why)? I want to share a wine with my friends back in France, who I used to do sports with as we have all grown up now and most of us are in the industry now will be amazing to have a big dinner all together with our wines! 

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