Cloudy Bay’s Kevin Judd visits Berrys



Friday night saw Chief Winemaker Kevin Judd make his inaugural visit to Berrys, hosting a dinner for 39 devotees. Who would have thought that this Hampshire lad (born Totton, Southampton), whose parents emigrated to Adelaide on a £10 (air) ticket would have such a profound impact on the world of wine. 

The story goes that founder David Hoehnon was so blown away by a bottle of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc left at his Cape Mentelle winery by a visiting party that he jumped on the next flight to Wellington. Little-known was that Cloudy Bay was due to be made in Hawkes’s Bay before a final switch to Marlborough. Kevin Judd was working at Selak’s at the time but in two minds whether to return to Australia when David popped the million-pound question…that was in 1983. Perhaps David had also been wooed by Kevin’s photography, which was then responsible for the seminal label. Twenty-four vintages later & Kevin’s still overseeing the winery while spending 25% of his time setting up his camera; a new ‘Landscape of New Zealand’s Vineyards’ is due out soon.

As for the dinner the elegant biscuity 2004 Pelorus served as an appropriate aperitif, followed by the brand new 2008 Sauvignon Blanc, a bready, understated 2006 Chardonnay & cherry cola 2006 Pinot Noir (matched perfectly with brill, lentils & bacon), before the finale of 2005 & a rare 2001 Te Koko with a selection of goats’ cheese.

A night to savour & a privilege to hear Kevin’s story.