Simon Nunns, Winemaker, Coopers Creek Vineyard Ltd, Auckland

Born, Bred, Schooled

Matamata. Attended Matamata Primary, then Intermediate, then College. Massey Univeristy then Lincoln University.

First wine industry job - year

Working at Tasman Liquor in Courtney Place, Wellington in 1990. A steady cliental of glue sniffers, drunks and homeless people made the job very interesting.

First real (full time) job (outside of school/uni holidays)

Computer Operator at Databank Sytems in Palmerston North

Career Highlight

Continuing success of Coopers Creek Vineyard wines in wineshows

Cat? Dog?

Both. Currently have Guido, the Italian Greyhound, but have had cats in the past too

Desert island wine and food.

I need to lose a bit of weight so that I can climb hills better, so I’ll take the opportunity, whilst marooned, to drink water and eat lots of fruit and veges.


My other winemaking chums – all of whom are happy to provide advice and encouragement.

Dinner table companions, dead or alive

The greatest cyclist ever, Eddy “The Cannibal” Merckx. Rosalind Franklin, without whom Crick and Watson would never have worked out the structure of DNA. American satirist and author Carl Hiassen. Virtuoso trumpet player Alison Balsom. And James Bond (he is real isn’t he? If he turns out to be imaginary, then Santa Claus can take his place)

Greatest achievement

Winning the Senior Boys Swimming Championship at Matamata Primary School in 1977. Asthmatic, unhealthy little twerps like me weren’t supposed to be able to do that sort of thing.

New Zealand wine industry needs…

More diversity. Sauvignon Blanc is 70% of our annual harvest.

If you weren’t working in the wine industry, what would you be doing?

Ex professional cyclist, about to embark on a career as a brewer.

One thing about you people might be surprised to learn?

When I was 16 years old, I could fly a plane. By myself. Solo.

If you had the day off tomorrow what would you like to do.

Go for a morning bike ride. Follow that up with a luncheon date with Katrina, my wonderful partner. A walk with the dog would follow, and then I’d need an afternoon nap.


T:            @oenologist
FB:          Simon Nunns

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