Winemakers Women in Wine, PT 2

Cellar Talk with Nicky Parish

In honor of Women’s History Month, get to know a modern New Zealand winemaker. Interview by Nick Baines.

Honoring Women in Wine:
Parish on how Angels encourage winemakers to succeed

Interviewed by Nick Baines 

Nicky Parish

“There isn’t a ceiling on success”

1. How did you get your start in wine?

My exposure to the wine industry began from a very early age. My father was involved in the marketing of wines when the wine industry in New Zealand was young and evolving.

My parents also bought land to plant a vineyard in 1995, around the same time my brother Matt was completing his Master’s Degree in viticulture and enology. I’d also just started my science degree and it just became a natural progression to study grape growing and winemaking.

2. Where are you in your career now?

Now 25 years later, I am working alongside my father every day. I’ve established a wonderful career, relishing the challenges of each vintage and a real hunger to learn more.

With the opportunity to discuss ideas with Matt, the business expertise of my father, and my winemaking skills, we’re producing amazing wines.

3. How do Naked Angels empower you as a winemaker?

The effort Angels put into the reviews is humbling to a winemaker from New Zealand. The food and wine pairings are always fun too, and the tasting notes are detailed and helpful. I feel the Angels really want to encourage winemakers to succeed.

4. What’s a BIG lesson you’ve learned along the way?

To remain calm. Sometimes you need to stop, breathe, and then plan. You won’t always be able to please everyone, but I am learning my opinion is valuable – you have to believe in yourself.

5. What’s the message you have for other women winemakers?

Don’t be intimidated. The industry has plenty of opportunity for everyone. Your ideas are as valuable as the next winemaker’s.

6. What is your big hope for women in wine in the future?

That more women are involved in all areas of the wine industry. There isn’t a ceiling on success. The NZ Gourmet Traveller magazine just announced a fantastic woman as their winemaker of the year for 2021. It’s great to see these people being recognized for their tenacity and hard work.

Lastly, is there a women’s empowerment organization or cause you support or would like to?

I’m involved in Women in Wine New Zealand. It’s a great opportunity to get together with fellow colleagues and offer each other support.


Nicky Parish

Follow Nicky Parish on Naked Wines

Nick Baines is a food and travel writer based in London.

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