Master of WIne Sam Harrop

Business is Boring: How to drink – and sell – a New Zealand wine

Business is Boring is a weekly podcast series presented by The Spinoff in association with Callaghan Innovation. Host Simon Pound speaks with innovators and commentators focused on the future of New Zealand. This week he talks to wine expert Sam Harrop. 

Wine is big business in New Zealand. The prices we command for our wine are some of the best margins in the world, and just about anywhere you go in the world there’ll be a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc on the menu. But this week’s guest believes the potential of our fine wine is only just starting to be realised.

New Zealand has had many trailblazers on the winemaking side of things, and a few on the industry side too. Sam Harrop is a bit of both. He’s worked as winemaker both here and overseas, before becoming winemaker and buyer for massive UK grocer Marks & Spencer, revolutionising the way they made, bought and marketed wine. Then he became one of fewer than 400 people ever to make the grade as a Master of Wine and spent 10 years as co-chair of the International Wine Challenge, perhaps the most influential gold sticker a bottle of wine can get.

Sam now splits his time between his winemaking business in Spain, which makes nearly six million bottles a year of some of the world’s best organic wine, and living in New Zealand, where he makes beautiful single-vineyard wines with a focus on simplicity.

Sam joined us to chat about his journey, the drinks biz and how he makes such good wine.

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