Many years of experience have worked for Jeff and we do not have to discuss everything in detail but instead he makes decisions or clear recommendations. Since quality is our and Jeff’s main focus, he gets involved all along from early days in the vineyard to the blending of the final products and the processing of the finished wines up to bottling. Even with vineyard areas adding up to almost 50 ha., I can afford to attend overseas business or shows and leave the harvesting totally in his hands while being absent. During this period, he lives with us on the vineyard property and will be found in the right spot at any time of the 24 hours of a day or 7 days of the week.
All in our family have become personal friends with Jeff and have enjoyed many good drops donated by him or myself to learn more about unknown or special varieties and wine styles. On top of it, he is a good fisherman and we enjoy a good Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc and lately Gruener Veltliner with our freshly caught seafood from the Marlborough Sounds.
Made our first Gruener Veltliner for us this year, which looks stunning and that without even making one telephone call to Austria. Has famously mastered the skill of making the best late harvest Noble dessert wines that have brought home many accolades and trophies.
Konrad Hengstler | Managing Director | Konrad Wines LTD
Jeff has been assisting us for a few years now in sourcing our Central Otago Pinot Noir, firstly as bulk wine and now as contract grapes. He has also sourced high quality fruit for and made our Reserve CO Pinot Noir 2010 and also acts as our Viticultural consultant for the grapes. Jeff always over delivers on quality for the price point we are targeting. He has such a vast store of knowledge and experience, not just in NZ but internationally as well, that it has been a real asset to have him in our team.
Kevin Joyce | Toi Toi Wines
Jeff Sinnott has been engaged as our consultant winemaker/ viticulturist for a number of reasons; primarily, because we believe he is one of the world’s best wine makers. He possesses the rare ability to be able to grow and make a wine sensitively from the vineyard with a non-intervensionist and natural approach. But with a strong and in-depth understanding of the underlying science. We believe that with his guidance we can make ‘great’ wine and for a small producer that has to be the goal
Kim Nankivell | Proprietor | Clos St William Vineyard | Waipara
I have known Jeff for over 25 years and his passion for wine is intoxicating. He worked a vintage with me in 1992 and in that year we won over 4 gold medals and trophies in national and international shows. The wines still taste superb to this day. He has offered opinion to us on a number of vineyard related issues over the years and we still refer to the advice he delivered so well. All the information shared was very well grounded and he executed a design of vine balance which then produced remarkable fruit of concentration and presence.
He is not a winemaker, because he does most of that in the vineyard. He relates his input in the cellar to one of a midwife; however it is in the vineyard that he really excels. I have been fascinated in his ability to put good science into understandable prose and practice so that those empowered to do the tasks fully comprehend the meaning for what it is they are being paid to do.
Twenty minutes with Jeff Sinnott and your brain’s in overload.
For a good guy who can cook and play music, wine seems to simply be a second nature.
I admire those who go where none have gone before them, particularly if they are successful. Jim Jerram and his winemaker brother-in-law Jeff Sinnott started searching for a suitable vineyard site in 1998 before wine had been made commercially in the Waitaki Valley, which is in the north of Otago just south of the Canterbury border and near the town of Oamaru. They found a north-facing slope with limestone-influenced soils and planted two hectares of pinot gris and pinot noir vines in 2002. I've tasted their wines since the initial vintage of pinot gris in 2004. The next couple of years produced lacklustre fare but that all changed in the 2006 vintage when they made a spectacularly good pinot gris and lovely pinot noir. Since then the standard has been high although something of a roller-coaster ride thanks to vintage variation.
Waitaki has a marginal climate for high quality wine production but I predict that Ostler will make brilliant wines in favourable years, particularly at the hands of Sinnott, clearly one of the country's best winemakers.
Bob Campbell MW