Winery Of The Month | Coopers Creek
Founded in 1980 by Andrew and Cynthia Hendry when the New Zealand wine industry was small and relatively unknown, Coopers Creek Vineyard has grown and matured over four decades into a top-class winery with a strong international presence.
Long-time foodies and passionate about wine, the Hendrys are deeply immersed in the cuisine, hospitality and wine trade. Andrew is the winery’s Managing Director, handling day-to-day operational management and international markets.
Coopers Creek has earned a reputation for innovation, introducing and pioneering promising new grape varieties that are ideal for cool climate regions. Albariño, Arneis, Grüner Veltliner, Marsanne and Montepulciano are new varieties for New Zealand, but heading for stardom. Coopers Creek is satisfying a growing demand for these new varieties under its SV (Select Vineyard) range in addition to its longstanding pedigree with Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Bordeaux reds. Farro have included seven of these SV wines in their current range.
Key to Coopers Creek’s success has been the skill and experience of its chief winemaker, Simon Nunns. He has guided the company’s winemaking for 21 years. Not only highly experienced and talented as a winemaker, Simon’s a sought-after wine judge, educator and speaker. He’s been winemaker at Coopers Creek Vineyard Ltd since 1998. He holds a post graduate Diploma in Viticulture and Oenology from Lincoln University and has worked harvests in Oregon, Bordeaux and Burgundy. Simon judges in a number of wine competitions both in New Zealand and Australia. Apart from wine, his interests include food, art, architecture, history, music and, most especially, cycling.
Simon says “what makes Coopers Creek unique amongst New Zealand wineries is the depth and breadth of the portfolio we make. As a modestly sized, family-owned producer, we are making quality wines from Kumeu, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Marlborough and Central Otago grapes. Our sense of adventure also makes us unique. There are few producers in New Zealand who have been willing to adopt new grape varieties with the enthusiasm and success that we have shown.”
The wine he is most excited to have made is the memorable 2012 SV Gisborne Albarino ‘Bell-Ringer’. “Only one barrel of Albarino was made in 2011, and it was New Zealand’s first-ever Albarino. Then in 2012, we had a commercially viable amount to work with. The wine was a delight. Beautiful fruit from Delwyn and Doug Bell turned into a beautiful wine. It was bright, fresh, aromatic and juicy. It made you think of sunshine, summer, sand, holidays and seafood. It was, in a glass, the essence of summertime in New Zealand. It went on to win seven gold medals and four trophies. Coopers Creek are justly very proud of that!”
Find the Coopers Creek Select Vineyard range in our Alcohol section.