Congratulations to NZ Winemaker of The Year, Jen Parr of Valli Vineyards

Jen Parr of Valli Vineyards was named NZ Winemaker of the Year by Gourmet Traveller WINE at an awards dinner at Auckland’s Grand Hotel in January. Her acceptance speech, delivered with tears streaming down her face shines a light on the woman behind the award and why pioneering Otago Winemaker and founder of Valli Vineyards Grant Taylor describes her as “the most thoughtful winemaker I know.”  



“As a student of literature, I often wondered about my purpose.  Eventually I started on this wine journey and found my purpose, so my thoughts began to focus on our purpose as an industry.  What good do we do in the world as winegrowers? At the end of the day, it is really difficult to answer.  About a year ago, it became clear to me. As individuals – wine writers, wine masters, purveyors, growers… we are like bright colours on an artist’s palette.  Our beauty is not fully unleashed until all these colours are put together on a canvas and we become one.   In that beauty, we can capture a moment in time and help people to stop and appreciate that moment.  We can create happiness in a world that is sometimes challenging. I think that is important – capturing a moment in time and creating memories. That wine in that glass, it comes from the heart.  It comes from our toils and our choices.  That memory and that canvas we create together lasts much longer than wine in a glass (Particularly our wines!).  So, if we continue to look after each other, our planet and our land and continue to collectively put colour on the canvas then I do think we make the world a better place.”   


To find out more information about Valli Vineyards please visit