"We decided to go 100% with this grape variety with a totally all-or-nothing approach in the vineyard. It really is a situation where if you want the most reward, then you have to take the most risk."
Devotus is the first wine venture of Don McConachy and Valerie Worsdale who upon returning to New Zealand in 2013 purchased the established vineyard with 2 hectares of old Pinot Noir vines planted originally by Neil McCallum of Dry River. The vineyard is in the heart of the Martinborough Terrace, directly next door to Dry River.
When asked 'Why Pinot Noir?' Don replied "Pinot Noir is a high risk grape. Give it only average attention in the vineyard and you will be totally punished as a winemaker. The wine will be boring and mediocre. It does however respond wonderfully to the right treatment. Valerie, my wife, felt the same way, so we decided to go 100% with this grape with a totally all-or-nothing approach in the vineyard. It really is a situation where if you want the most reward, then you have to take the most risk. We could have grown a much easier white grape variety in our vineyard like most other NZ vineyards, yet that would have been a pretty boring, safe and rational decision."
Devotus are based in Martinborough Terraces, a sub region of Martinborough that has been given the seal of origin by the Martinborough Winemakers Association and has also been granted its own appellation in recognition of its distinctive terroir that results in high quality wines that are unique to and reflect the terroir.
Don’s attitude to winemaking and vineyard management is well within the traditional camp adopting a fully “hands-on” approach and applying natural, minimal intervention methods in both the vineyard and the winery. Don is rarely off his vintage tractor or out of the tiny 2 hectare vineyard. Believing that “great wines are made in the vineyard”, Don practices organic farming and with a strong belief in sustainability, ensuring that all natural cover crops are ploughed back into the soil to continue feeding the life cycle of the vineyard. The vineyards are planted with a mix of Pommard and Dijon Clones which account for the particularly Burgundian style to the Devotus wines.
We are delighted to be able to work with Don and Valerie and represent them in the UK. Their tireless attitude towards work is one that we can always relate to. Painstakingly labelling all their bottles by hand or Don’s unrelenting dedication to the highest level of viticulture shows a level of commitment to their passion that speaks in volumes through their wines.
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