Meet The Winemaker: Nick Lane, Defined Wines

Meet The Winemaker: Nick Lane

A couple of weeks' ago we introduced you to Poppy Seeley, one of Folc's incredible winemakers. This week say a big hello to Nick Lane, our Head Winemaker and all round wine pro. He's one of the experts behind our brilliant blend so we were keen to find out more!

Meet The Winemaker: Nick Lane

How did you get into wine? 

I moved to France after completing secondary school. As for many that age, this was a time of discovery for me. I was passively searching for my vocation and wine came along and just struck a chord with me.

It was initially through the aroma that I became really interested in it. When I realised that two wines could be so different for a number of different reasons, I became really hooked. Winemaking appealed to my sense of the practical and the hedonistic.

What does a day at the winery look like for you?

Outside of harvest the day starts usually just before 8am. First things are a few lab checks, followed by tasting and preparation for the coming days activities. There is usually a meeting with clients over the course of the day and of course no one escapes the world of emails and administration. During the growing season there will be a regular vineyard visits. As for a typical day during harvest, that is anyone’s guess!

What has been your best winemaking experience to date? 

There have been lots of them actually. Being responsible for grape sampling of all of the Côte d'Or vineyards for a large producer in Burgundy was a big thrill and learning experience. Doing quality control for Dom Perignon vintages going back to the 1960’s was really fun. Also seeing through the Cloudy Bay Central Otago Pinot Noir project from establishing grower relations to bottling the final wine was really satisfying.

Any horror stories? 

I once turned a full grape press upside down with the doors open… happens to most of us at least once but still, it ain’t pretty.

What’s your thoughts on the 2020 harvest? 

2020 harvest here was a great one. We had some really nice ripeness levels and have made some fantastic wines. There was a bit of rain around which made life a bit more difficult for the later ripening vineyards but I think most people would gladly take a year like that one.

Where do you think the winemaking world will be in 10 years - any predictions? 

I think the winemaking world will be increasingly in a state of flux. Between the challenges and opportunities imposed by climate change, the consumer demanding a more locally sourced product and consumption trends, I think there will be winners and losers. Those who gain the most will be able to make and present their wines as relevant to the consumer, whether that be low alcohol, local production, carbon neutral or just a good story. Success will likely require more than one of these aspects.  

What’s your favourite wine grape to drink and why?

That is never an easy question but for white wines I would have to go for Chardonnay. The seamless integration of oak and fruit is so seductive – the umami of the wine world. For reds I have had a swing back to Bordeaux of late. The way those wines age and develop complexity so slowly is something to behold. In this part of the world I am really looking forward to drinking some top quality Pinot Noir red wines, the potential is there and exceptional wines will be made.

Shop our 2021 Vintage here.