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More winemaker changes

Critical personnel changes in wineries is happening all the time and I don’t try to record every movement, but some are impossible to ignore, such is their impact. I mention two significant moves this week.

1. Steve Smith (pictured above) is easing himself out of his full-time role with outstanding Hawkes Bay, New Zealand winery Craggy Range (tastings). Smith is a Master of Wine and first and foremost a viticulturist, who set up Craggy Range from bare ground for the owner, Queensland businessman Terry Peabody. Smith oversaw the planting of the vineyards in Hawkes Bay and Martinborough, and the building of two wineries.

He has been the public face of Craggy since it appeared on the scene in the late 1990s and was the most passionate advocate for the now well established Gimblett Gravels district of Hawkes Bay. Smith will transition over the coming year from wine and viticulture director to a part-time director and consultant. He has other projects that he wants to pursue.

2. Con Moshos is moving back to his old winery, Petaluma (now Tapanappa) to work with his old boss, Brian Croser. Moshos was long-serving chief winemaker at Petaluma (tastings) before being lured away to Mountadam (tastings) nine years ago. Having helped re-established Mountadam’s position in the premium wine game, Moshos will return to the Piccadilly winery, which as of this coming vintage will be back entirely in the hands of its owners, the Croser family.

He’ll work with both Brian Croser and Croser’s daughter Lucy and son-in-law Xavier Bizot on their Tapanappa (tastings) and Terre à Terre wines (tastings) respectively. The large winery has excess capacity and will be seeking contract winemaking work and consultancies to keep Moshos occupied.

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