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IN PURSUIT of
EXCELLENCE

OUR STORIED HERITAGE

PIONEERING the
HAWKE’S BAY WINE INDUSTRY

It has been over 125 incredible years since the journey began on the site
where Church Road now stands. Over 125 years of capturing the riches of the
Hawke’s Bay region, harnessing the natural terroir
and individual character of the vineyards.

Our winemaking philosophy

Masterful
craftsmanship

Winemakers have to be artists, scientists and craftspeople — artists in developing a clear vision of
what it is they want to create; scientists in figuring out what processes have to take place in the wine; and craftspeople in
applying the lessons from tradition and experience to make it happen. The Church Road winemaking
team have all honed these skills at the winery, with the results
showing through in every bottle.

MEET the WINEMAKERS

CHIEF WINEMAKER

Chris Scott

NEW ZEALAND WINEMAKER OF THE YEAR
WINESTATE MAGAZINE

2013 2016 2020

2021 2022

A passion for wine led Chris Scott to Hawke’s Bay. He started his career at Church Road Winery in 1998
as a cellar hand, after previously working summer months at Fernhill and McDonald vineyards while studying for a
degree in wine science. In 2005, Chris was appointed Chief Winemaker. His philosophy of executing
traditional techniques to add depth of flavour and layers of texture to exceptional quality Hawke’s Bay fruit
stands him apart in creating award-winning wines full of character.

Chris Scott is one of New Zealand’s most celebrated winemakers having been named New Zealand Winemaker
of the Year by Winestate Magazine in 2013, 2016, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

The TEAM

VITICULTURE AREA MANAGER

Graham Bartlett

Graham has been responsible for Viticulture in Hawke’s Bay for the last 16 years. When leading staff management, vineyard yield, quality and sustainability, no two days are the same. Graham is driven by working with a cohesive vineyard team with a shared goal of producing world-class wines.

OPERATIONS WINEMAKER

Craig Thomas

Craig has over 29 Vintages of experience from New Zealand to France and the US. Despite the myriad challenges that come with winemaking, Craig’s role is immensely rewarding and creatively fulfilling. For Craig, winemaking at Church Road is a balance of science and intuition combined with the artistry and collaborative spirit that comes from the aim of constantly striving to create exceptional wines.

VITICULTURALIST

Claire Pinker

Claire has been part of the Viticulture team at Church Road since 2018. With a deep respect for the land, she is practically orientated and has always had a love for food and wine. Having a career that combines both wine and agriculture is incredibly fulfilling for Claire.

WINEMAKER

Aileen Luo

Aileen wears many hats at Church Road, diving into research projects with winemakers while also communicating with wine lovers. Her presence ensures that every sip tells a story of innovation, tradition, and craftsmanship.

ASSISTANT WINEMAKER

Tetsuaki Ishibashi

Tetsuaki joined the winemaking team for vintage 2015, marking 8 years with Church Road. As assistant winemaker at Church Road, Tetsuaki is responsible for grape intake, fermentation and conducting winemaking trials to ensure we create wines of exceptional quality, without exception.

VITICULTURE AREA MANAGER

Graham Bartlett

Graham has been responsible for Viticulture in Hawke’s Bay for the last 16 years. When leading staff management, vineyard yield, quality and sustainability, no two days are the same. Graham is driven by working with a cohesive vineyard team with a shared goal of producing world-class wines.

OPERATIONS WINEMAKER

Craig Thomas

Craig has over 29 Vintages of experience from New Zealand to France and the US. Despite the myriad challenges that come with winemaking, Craig’s role is immensely rewarding and creatively fulfilling. For Craig, winemaking at Church Road is a balance of science and intuition combined with the artistry and collaborative spirit that comes from the aim of constantly striving to create exceptional wines.

VITICULTURALIST

Claire Pinker

Claire has been part of the Viticulture team at Church Road since 2018. With a deep respect for the land, she is practically orientated and has always had a love for food and wine. Having a career that combines both wine and agriculture is incredibly fulfilling for Claire.

WINEMAKER

Aileen Luo

Aileen wears many hats at Church Road, diving into research projects with winemakers while also communicating with wine lovers. Her presence ensures that every sip tells a story of innovation, tradition, and craftsmanship.

ASSISTANT WINEMAKER

Tetsuaki Ishibashi

Tetsuaki joined the winemaking team for vintage 2015, marking 8 years with Church Road. As assistant winemaker at Church Road, Tetsuaki is responsible for grape intake, fermentation and conducting winemaking trials to ensure we create wines of exceptional quality, without exception.

GREAT WINE CAPITALS
GLOBAL NETWORK

ONE of the WORLD’S
TWELVE GREAT WINE CAPITALS

Thanks to its unique selection of soils and microclimates, the Hawke’s Bay regionis known for
producing excellent wines from a wide range of varietals, including Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris.

The accolade reflects the quality of the wine at Hawke’s Bay and the experience on offer to visitors, whether
that be long vineyard lunches, soaking up live music at events like our Church Road Live Summer Sessions
or transport options like the Hawke’s Bay Cycle Trail.

THE CHURCH ROAD
ART INITIATIVE

Where ARTISTRY
MEETS EXCELLENCE

Just as an artist draws on creative expression, instinct, science,
and materiality, so too do the winemakers at Church Road. In honour of this shared affinity and to
support the cultural vibrancyof the region,we are proud to partner with MTG Hawke’s Bay on the
Church Road Art Initiative – amultiyear partnership that awards a bursary
to an emerging or mid-career artist.