The Wine Maker

There’s wine... and then there’s wine that makes you wonder who made it, where it’s from and the story behind it. Meet winemaker Sarah Kate (aka SK) one half of a very creative couple producing wines like this.

SK’s experience, knowledge and passion is reflected in the award winning wines made at Maude. The vineyard is set in the stunning Maungawera Valley, Wanaka and everything about the place, the people and wines evokes style and elegance.  

Name and Occupation

Sarah-Kate Dineen, Winemaker and owner of Maude Wines

Tell us what you do in 50 words or less

With my husband Dan and our wonderful crew at Maude Wines, we run our growing family wine company. Blissfully happy with such a diverse role, from working in the vineyard enjoying the lovely Wanaka weather to hands on winemaking (often at the end of a plunging stick), blending and bottling, then leaving for the big smokes in NZ, Australia, USA & UK to market and sell the wines. 

How long have you been in Wanaka, and why did you move here?

I have been coming to Wanaka for 42 years – but moved here permanently in 2005. Home to family and the family vineyard Mt Maude.

Best part of living in Wanaka

Diversity of people, landscape and the activities & ‘go get’em” approach they lend to the lifestyle of living in Wanaka.

What do you miss when you are away?

Obviously I miss the breath-taking scenery, the views that elevate your day, when you turn that corner or come up over that rise. But mostly I miss the feeling this town generates – the small town with a big city attitude.

What are your favourite things to do in Wanaka?

Ok so much, but particular favourites are; walking Mt Iron, running along the lake front, water-skiing, snow-skiing (obviously) paddle boarding down the Clutha river, rock jumping at Motutapu, the great combo of boat/walk/climb to the top of Mou Waho, dining out in the town when it’s full and bustly. A new personal favourite - Wildwire, honestly don’t miss it! 

What makes the wine grown in the Wanaka region so special?

Rapidly gaining recognition from media and wine critics both at home and abroad. Wanaka wines have a clarity to them, they aren’t the ‘blockbuster’ style of Central Otago wines, they are more elegant and refined, with tension and promise - as with great wines, that cellaring and patience will reward, as these wines are full of pedigree.

What is your favourite Maude wine?

Anyone that knows me would say the Mt Maude Chardonnay, it’s definitely ‘A’ favourite but I can’t go past our beautiful mature Mt Maude Pinot Noir from our 23 year old vines, especially when we pull a bottle from the museum rack with 10 years age on it.

Part Two of a series: The Wine Maker 
Meet the locals who make Wanaka's epicurean scene delicious and exciting. 

Read Part Three : The Chef