Marlborough, New Zealand
Ant Mackenzie was born in the grape growing region of Gisborne, New Zealand. His formative years were spent further south in Hawke's Bay where his father worked with pioneer winemakers who sparked his interest in making great wines .
His formal education includes studies in biochemistry, economics and ultimately a specialization in enology. Ant represents a new generation of New Zealand winemakers who have completed their technical training locally.
Ant's career has taken him around the winemaking world. Beginning with harvests in Hawke's Bay and extending to spells in California, Spain and Australia. It was in Marlborough, however, that his success as a winemaker was galvanized.
The cool climate varietals, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer are Ant's strength. His focus on these varietals was awakened after taking a job as winemaker at celebrated New Zealand's Riesling producer, Framingham Wine Company. At their first showing, Ant's Riesling wines won a hat trick of gold medals at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards, New Zealand's most prestigious wine competition. Further successes followed after joining start up wine company Spy Valley Wines five years later. These include trophies for Best Riesling at the International Wine Challenge, Best Producer at the San Francisco Wine Challenge and White Winemaker of the Year at the Japan Wine Challenge.
Ant's winemaking philosophy is simple; work with the people and the land to grow the best fruit, then let that fruit lead you to a wine style that communicates its provenance.
When Ant is not in the winery he is most likely to be hanging out with his wife Fiona and two daughters, Ella and Rosa or riding has racing bike around the vineyards of Marlborough.