An interview with Jules Taylor

October 8, 2020
Discover Jules Taylor, our favorite female winemaker in the sunny lands of Marlborough, New-Zealand.

Have you always known that you would make wine for a living?

No! I went to University because all my friends were going! And studied Zoology and Plant and Microbial Science. Some of which is useful in winemaking, but mostly useless 😊

If you were not making wine for a living, what would you be doing?

I would have liked to have done physiotherapy. But probably would have ended up making something, like bread or cheese or both..mmmmmm

What is your first memory about wine?

Our family wasn’t a wine-drinking family – probably because when I was growing up, there wasn’t much of an industry here and very little imported wine. My first memories are of Mateus Rose and some dreadful bag-in-box wine with a name I can’t spell. Things have changed thankfully!

How would you describe your philosophy in 3 words?

Simple, elegant and refreshing.

What is your biggest challenge as a winemaker?

Stopping the financial controller from releasing the wines before they are ready!

Can you explain Marlborough terroir in a few words and what makes it really special for the Sauvignon grape?

This takes more than a few words, but…. High UV without high temperatures, low humidity and rainfall, cool overnight temperatures during the final stages of ripening (this means the fruit retains a nice, bright, juicy acidity).

Is there a Sauvignon producer, a winemaker or a wine region that has been your stylistic guiding light?

Not really. Our fruit really makes the style of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc what it is….

And personally, what is your favourite grape variety?

That’s like asking which child is my favourite! It depends! I do love sparkling wines and dry Riesling (actually any Riesling) and Chablis.

What do you drink if it is not your own wines?


The best way to taste / to enjoy your wine? (friends, family, special music…)

Our wines are made to drink with or without food. I suggest with friends/family and without complications.

What would be the best dish to go along with your Sauvignon Blanc?

Try pairing the Sauvignon Blanc with Ceviche or a lovely fragrant Asian fish curry.

Our first purchase from you was in 2005, so some of our customers might have some back vintages of Sauvignon Blanc in the cellar. What is for you the best vintage you have ever made?

That’s a tough one. I loved the 2010, but also the 2012. The style hasn’t changed much over the years, but maybe the acid profile is slightly lower. And, depending on the growing season, the fruit ripeness varies a little. I do love most Sauvignon Blanc. It is my ‘go to’ wine on a hot summers’ day. Recently we tried a 2007 SB. SOOOOOOO different after that time in bottle. Nice, understated and definitely lacking the obnoxious, in your face attitude that some people find offensive in MSB 😊

Can you tell us a funny story that imprinted your memory in your estate?

Gosh, I don’t know. I meet many people who are surprised I am a woman – that is always funny.

Do you have some new projects, ambitions for the domaine?

Nothing new in the pipeline – we are ‘sticking to our knitting’ so to speak! At the moment, with all the craziness in the world, if we can just keep our ship steering in the right direction, that would be grand!

Sauvignon Blanc, Jules Taylor

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