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Five minutes with: Ben Glover

Ben Glover is the chief winemaker at Wither Hills in Marlborough, MiNDFOOD reports.

Five minutes with: Ben Glover

Ben Glover grew up among the vineyards of Marlborough and has worked at Wither Hills since its establishment. In April 2007, he was appointed Chief Winemaker for the winery.

Glover has worked at various wineries in New Zealand, Sonoma in California, Margaret River in Western Australia, Burgundy in France and Puglia in Italy.

He was the New Zealand representative scholar for the inaugural Len Evans tutorial in 2001 and is a wine judge for both domestic and international wine shows. His particular passion is Pinot Noir. When not making wine, Glover tries to find the time to belt the fluff off a tennis ball, feature in the odd thespian stage performance and relax in the picturesque Marlborough Sounds.

What’s the biggest change you’ve experienced at Wither Hills over the first decade of its life?

Obviously it would be with Brent Marris leaving Wither Hills in early 2007, and the team here at Wither Hills having to step up and take the brand forward. The key staff, including my winemakers Nadine Cross and Sally Williams, have been at Wither Hills since about 2001 so the experience was already in place, we just had to action it – which I am happy to say is a lot of fun.

What’s the most challenging aspect of growing grapes and making wine in Marlborough?

Pretty much the logistics of Harvest and ensuring you’re getting the maximum expression out of each vineyard site, then moulding these nuances into a seamless glass of wine.

What sort of sauvignon blanc would you like to be drinking and making in 10 years’ time?

With sauvignon blanc vine age, in 10 years time I hope we will have gone past the adolescent forward up front full fruit style to a sauvignon that will support all of the above, but with added elegance, texture and mineral acid structure.

What’s the most underrated grape you know of and why?

Gewürztraminer – just because we can’t spell or pronounce it. It is beautifully succulent, with heady aromatics and goes great with washed rind cheese. In my opinion the perfect combination.

What’s your ultimate dream wine to make? And to drink?

That’s a silly question – pinot noir of course. This year at Wither Hills we’re celebrating 10 years of Wither Hills pinot, which is a real landmark. It’s exciting to see Marlborough pinot coming of age as a region. I’ll definitely be raising a glass or two to that.

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