Meet The Winemaker: Poppy Seeley

Love the taste of Folc’s rosé? Thank Poppy and the rest of the team at Defined wines. She’s one of our incredible winemakers who works behind the scenes to ensure your bottle of Folc tastes just as good as it does. In celebration of our 2020 vintage, we thought we would shine the spotlight on one of the pivotal (folk) behind our latest drop. Meet Poppy Seeley!

Meet The Winemaker: Poppy Seeley

How did you get into wine, Poppy?

I studied Geography at university and in my final year picked a course entitled “The Geography Of Wine”. It sparked my imagination into what a slightly alternative career choice might look like and once I graduated, an opportunity arose to gain some experience at a winery in the Adelaide Hills. I relished the chance to make a living making wine and haven’t looked back since!

Tell us what a day at the winery looks like?

One of my favourite things about the job is “typical” days don’t really exist as there are always new and different challenges and projects to be working on depending on the time of year. At the moment, we are preparing for tirage, which involves building up a mother culture, whilst also filtering, disgorging and labelling all for different clients. I would usually be prepping for the day’s activities, planning the next couple of days/weeks activities and managing the lab for analysis, trials and tastings.

What’s been your best winemaking experience to date?

Winemaking as a career path has allowed me to travel to and spend significant periods of time in places I would have otherwise only been a tourist, which has been pretty cool. Since being back in England it has been very rewarding to be involved in the making of both still and sparkling wines throughout their whole journey – from a bunch of grapes hanging on a vine to into finished bottles being dispatched.

How about any horror stories?

Sadly none of my own are especially juicy,  however during the first week of my first vintage in Australia I was the victim of someone else’s horror story, and got caught up in a rather large shower of chardonnay. Two important lessons were learnt early on: never mix a ferment and always bring a change of clothes to work!

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

I think the winemaking world will (have to) become more adaptive. Global warming is having a significant impact on the growing of grapes and subsequent making of wine on a global scale, so I think we will have to see a shift in the planting of “traditional” varieties in certain marginal grape growing regions. I think for especially hot and arid areas or cooler/wetter areas this means planting and focusing on varieties that are well suited to these areas and these climatic conditions rather than simply following the status quo of what has been done in years gone by.

For an emerging grape growing region such as England I would like to see the quality continue to improve over the next ten years as English wines muscle their way onto more shelves and wine lists the world over.

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

Despite sounding like a get out of jail free card, chardonnay will forever be one of my favourites. Grown in regions across the globe, chardonnay is the jack-of-all trades in that its versatility means it never gets repetitive. From a winemaking perspective to destem (or not), to malolactically ferment (or not), to include (or exclude) oak from both the ferment and the ageing process constantly keep me guessing with chardonnay and therefore make it forever a firm favourite.

 Shop our 2020 Vintage here