30 winemakers under 40 to watch (part 3)13th January, 2014 by Lucy Shaw
In our third and final instalment, we round up 10 winemakers to watch under 40 who are blazing a trail at their respective estates.
21. Nick Picone (35)
In 2012, Nick Picone scooped The Wine Society Young Winemaker of the Year award, becoming the first New Zealander to be honoured with the title. Completing his first vintage at Esk Valley Estate in Hawkes Bay aged just 18, Picone became Villa Maria’s youngest assistant winemaker when he joined the Marlborough-based estate aged 24, after completing a two-year BA in wine science and working vintages in California and Italy.
Promoted to winemaker in 2004, two years later, Picone moved to Auckland, rising up the ranks to become senior winemaker in 2008 in charge of Villa Maria’s North Island production primarily from Hawkes Bay and Gisborne. Aside from playing the guitar, Picone’s two great passions are Chardonnay and Gimblett Gravels reds.