About Us

AWA judge pic
DWB Royal Easter Show Wine Awards
Wine writer, owner of WineFolio

David Walker Bell

I’ve been known to be called a ‘teller of stories’ – hopefully in a good way… I’ve worked in publishing my whole career – in the UK I penned restaurant reviews (sometimes fondly regarded as the ‘best job in journalism’); and since moving to New Zealand in 2003, my day job is tourism publishing.

Having been reminded by friends and family that as my passion is New Zealand wine, and that I should be devoting more time to writing about, and promoting the amazing wines and wineries we have to offer here… I am.

Not just what is in the bottle, but the stories behind those wines, and the sensational experience that can be had through visiting the vineyards and cellar doors… more often that not, in some of New Zealand’s most gorgeous locations. In the last couple of years, I’ve tasted many of what I would regard as New Zealand’s GREAT wines. I’m slowly working towards my goal of visiting every Cellar Door in New Zealand. 

I was a Senior Judge at NZIWS in 2022 and 2023, and an Associate Judge at the 2021 Royal Easter Show Wine Awards and at the National Wine Awards of Aotearoa New Zealand in 2022 . I currently manage a Wine Bar & Cellar in Devonport, and have experience in designing and curating wine lists for hospitality venues.

WineFolio will grow into being the best online resource for local wine. I start with the place, the vineyard, the people. So there will be features, interviews, maps, tips and info for any trip you could want to make out to the places where our wines come from.

Then I’ll be doing tastings, reviews and news – so you’re getting the lowdown on the wines in your glass as well. Our regular ‘Top 10 Tastings’ are an independent view on separate varietals and will feature the very best of New Zealand wines – often tasting wines that don’t get entered into any other show or tastings. The Top Tasting of Syrah was “a landmark tasting” according to one reader.

A project I’ve been involved in for the last couple of years is receiving ‘mystery boxes’ from the good people at Laithwaites. If you’re keen – like I have been – to get away from ‘the usual’ selection of wine, and want to expand your horizons – then have a browse of www.laithwaites.co.nz and see what treats they have. They offer a money-back guarantee; and if you are after some personal guidance, there’s even a page featuring myself and the words of wisdom I have to offer on the wines I’ve tried.

You can choose your own selections and build a box; or take a look at the ready-mixed boxes… these offer some very good value.