Matt Connell Wines has been a collaborative project between my wife Beth and myself since our first day together some 20 years ago. We worked together in the Wine Industry from our first harvest at Wynns Coonawarra Estate in South Australia to then time spent working for separate and various wineries with myself as winemaker and Beth focused on winery business, strategic planning and accounting.
Our philosophy for our business is that we work with people and sites we enjoy and create wines that highlight the best that Central Otago has to offer.
My winemaking philosophy is driven by experience earned working for some of the best in the industry, here or overseas. Sue Hodder at Wynns Coonawarra Estate,Adam Godley Campbell at Elk Cove vineyards in Oregon and Michele Richardson (Ex head winemaker at New Zealand’s Villa Maria)
All of these great winemakers taught me to focus on attention to detail, back yourself and to follow your own palate when making decisions. Also that it takes a lot of great beer to make great wine!
My wines tend to be fruit forward in style, highlighting fruit together with balanced silky tannins in Pinot Noir and balanced acidity in white wines. They must be age worthy and will only ever be released under their individual labels if the quality level is warranted.
The success of my wines each year is reliant on my ability to catalogue a history of winemaking and call on those memories to highlight the best qualities of each vintage and site. I have high expectations, and unlike larger operations, I am relying on the taste and flavour from a small number of barrels to successfully blend the perfect Pinot. From just a handful of barrels we have routinely created award winning wines that surpassed the judgement of experts tasting more than 2000 bottles. The one wine competition that we actively enter is New Zealand’s largest -The New Zealand International Wine competition. I have been fortunate enough to see a wine I made win the Champion Pinot Noir Trophy 4 times in the last 6 years. Since the creation of our own wines, we have followed on with consistently high results.
New Zealand International Wine Show Awards
· The 2017 Rendition Pinot Noir was awarded Champion Wine of Show and Champion Pinot Noir trophies.
· The 2018 Rendition Pinot Noir was awarded a Gold medal
· The 2019 Rendition Pinot Noir was awarded a Double Gold medal.
SOURCE TO TABLE
Adventure, challenge, friendships and the stories that come out of time spent Hunting and fishing with friends and family have always formed a solid background to my life. I started fishing as soon as I could bait a hook and got into Hunting from the age of 15. Time in the outdoors inspires me and the ability to source food while there simply adds to the enjoyment and adventure. My love of hunting and gathering has grown over the years and continues to be an important part of who I am. I love cooking for my family and enjoy the opportunity of learning from chefs that specialise in Wild game.
"Having the winemaker serve you at the cellar door just lifts the experience. The wines Matt makes are wonderful examples of the taste of central. Make sure you have lots of questions because he can answer them all, could have stayed for hours, I rate this 10 stars ⭐️"