NWWA Top 50 – Giesen

Since its establishment in 1981 by brothers Theo, Alex and Marcel the Giesen Group has become a powerhouse of the New Zealand wine industry.

Over the past 40 years the Giesen brothers have built a reputation for delivering quality wines people love to enjoy. Recent company investment in vineyards, equipment and winemaking technology have enabled expansion of the Giesen Wines brand. This has allowed development of a range of super premium wines including; The Brothers, The August 1888, and the Single Vineyard Selection including the revered and much-awarded Fuder wines.

Giesen owns 11 vineyards throughout Marlborough’s highly sought after Wairau Valley and has longstanding relationships with 40 of the region’s well respected grape growers, this ensures the Group has access to the finest quality fruit, which is the backbone of its global success.

If you were to give Theo, Alex and Marcel Giesen a health check, the likelihood is that you would find wine running through their veins and food embedded in their DNA.

The link begins with the brothers’ grandfather August (Aw-goost) Giesen a sommelier, restaurateur, hotel owner and lover of all things fine in life. August’s son Kort, - Theo, Alex and Marcel’s father - was introduced to high cuisine at an early age. In turn, Kort passed on the Giesen love of food and wine to his three sons, Theo, Alex and Marcel.

SupermarketNews spoke to chief winemaker Duncan Shouler to find out more about this incredible winery and its award-winning top drops.

What characteristics of your wine are influenced by the physical landscape of your winery?“We select fruit from vineyards in Marlborough, Nelson, Waipara and Hawke’s Bay – each region gives something to this award-winning Pinot Gris. Fruit from Marlborough adds acidity, Nelson and Waipara deliver beautiful aromatics and blossom, while Hawke’s Bay gives stone fruit flavour. Together these create enticing Pinot Gris with aromatic fresh pear, peach and nuances of almond meal. On the palate its rich with a touch of creaminess and subtle spice with a lively off-dry finish.”

What is one of the most rewarding things about winemaking?

“There’s great satisfaction in seeing good quality fruit on the vines in the vineyard, following it through the winery and nurturing it there to ensure you capture its essence and reflect its flavour in the bottle. Each bottle of wine should tell the story of its variety and of its region and creating wine which is true to this always rewarding.”


“Giesen Estate Pinot Gris 2019 is a reflection of its variety and classic cool climate New Zealand Pinot Gris. It entices with fresh pear, peach and nuances of almond meal. Rich fruit with a touch of creaminess and subtle spice leading into a lively, off-dry finish.”

What was important in making this award-winning wine?

“To ensure this Pinot Gris fulfilled its promise we decided to stop the ferment early to retain a small amount of natural sweetness which balances the delicious acidity.”

Food Pairing?

“A wonderful match with a roasted pear and feta tart served with a fresh green seasonal salad.”

How long can you shelf your winning bottle of wine for?

“Giesen Estate Pinot Gris 2019 is made to be enjoyable from the time its bottled. Therefore, we suggest its vest appreciated over the next 12 months – it will be perfect gently chilled and served over the Kiwi summer.”

Who would your wine appeal to?

“All wine lovers who enjoy aromatic wines – wines which share their enticing aroma from the moment the bottle is open – will appreciate this wine, it's a great example of Pinot Gris.”

How would you describe this wine to someone who's never had this grape varietal/blend before?

“Those who love fresh, crisp flavour which speaks for itself without the influence of oak or too much winemaker intervention will love Giesen Estate Pinot Gris 2019.  This wine is case study in an aromatic white which can be served chilled and still release great aromas. It has a touch of creaminess and subtle spice leading to a lively, off-dry finish.”

If you could do a wine bottle swap with any winery in NZ or the world, which winery and wine would it be with?

“Sticking with my ‘study’ of aromatics, I’d swap wines with any of France’s Grand Cru Alsace Pinot Gris producers. Tasting how they make Pinot Gris to reflect their region is a great way to contrast the characteristics of Pinot Gris - such as apple, pear and honeysuckle – with Pinot Gris from New Zealand.”


Founders: Brothers - Theo, Alex and Marcel Giesen

Current Owner: Brothers - Theo, Alex and Marcel Giesen

Winemaker: Giesen Chief Winemaker Duncan Shouler

Location: Marlborough

Wine varietals produced:

Giesen produce a wide variety of wine including; Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah.