Deep Down Wines are a boutique Marlborough wine company and collaboration of two New Zealand families. Founded by Clive Dougall, who was Winemaker at Seresin Estate for 12 years, and Peter Lorimer, who promoted boutique New Zealand brands around the globe with his company the New Zealand Wine Portfolio, Deep Down is about honest wines forged with intuition and heart.
We were lucky enough to chat to the Co-Founder, Peter about the winemaking industry, beautiful Marlborough and more.
Hi Peter. Thanks for chatting with me. Firstly, can you tell us a bit about Deep Down Wines, and how it all started?
Clive was Head Winemaker at Seresin for twelve years and I had just wrapped up my export consultancy. We met and found we shared many things in common – the love of organics, diving, wines from the old world etc. Both of us were at a stage to take the leap and decided to create a company that reflected our values whilst crafting distinct and delicious organic wines.
Can you please tell us about each wine you make, and what your personal favourite is at the moment?
The meaning of Deep Down is trusting your gut feeling and intuition, so our winemaking is simply and honest. Something important for us is balance - not only in wine but in music or art, farming and life – so we hope you find this in all our work. All wines are certified organic, single vineyard, wild fermented and we add little or no additions. There is Arneis which is ‘summer in a glass’ – bright and salty with electric acidity. It was a challenge to craft an original Sauvignon Blanc, but we decided not to use technology or additions and whilst it shows typical Marlborough characters, there is subtly, and more mouthfeel, and the wine pairs perfectly with kaimoana. Our Chardonnay is grown biodynamically and we simply let the vineyard shine. There’s stone fruit, honeycomb, and a touch of funk. Our Pinot Noir is a natural wine, which in the truest sense means it has no additions. This is simply grapes in a bottle, and we release it young so its light and refreshing (a bit of an oxymoron for red wine). It’s a wild ride offering red fruits and spice. Be warned, its dangerously drinkable! You asked for a favourite but that’s tough – it depends on the day, weather and what’s on the table for dinner.
I love the aesthetic of your branding! How did you come up with the design side for your branding?
We were incredibly lucky to work with the clever and talented team at Inhouse Design. We asked for something original and timeless. We think they nailed it.
What makes the wine industry in New Zealand so special?
It’s a young industry but so open and progressive. People love sharing ideas and techniques, and there’s a genuine collaborative spirit. Most important for the industry is the new focus on organics, which will ensure our farms are healthy and alive producing the best possible fruit, and ready for the next generation to take over.
Being based in beautiful Marlborough, New Zealand, what makes this area so great for winemaking, in your opinion?
A magic recipe of long summers, cool maritime breezes, plus old riverbeds, and clay hillside to farm on. It’s also the people – passionate and hardworking. The most exciting part is we’ve come so far in a short amount of time, yet we’ve only just scratched the surface. More planting on the right sites plus vine age and human experience – the potential is endless.
What is your favourite part of the winemaking process?
It’s hard to go past the crush and tasting the juice as it comes out of the press. This is a lens into a season and site, all singing from a glass.
If you could be anywhere in the world right now enjoying a glass of wine somewhere, where would it be and why?
Santorini. It holds so many memories and I love the hidden beaches, simple food, and the most incredible dry white wines.
We are proud to have customers like yourself using our smartass toilet paper. What made you decide to use our sustainable TP?
It was a no brainer as we’re always looking at ways to limit our impact on the globe. A great product sustainably produced.
With summer approaching, how will you be spending your days off?
We both have young families and dogs and love the outdoors. There will be days tramping, many at the beach, some diving and fishing, and plenty of cooking over open fires.
Lastly, how can our readers the best way to purchase your wine?
We sell direct via our website but we are also lucky to work with some brilliant retailers and friends like Star Superette, Fine Wine Delivery Company, Fine O Wine, Farro (AK), Cellar Ahuriri (Napier) and Moore Wilson's (Welly), plus more.