Amelia’s winemaking career has spanned over 2 decades and has seen her produce internationally acclaimed wines both from New Zealand and France.
Having completed her Bachelor of Commerce at Otago University, Amelia made the decision to follow her passion and enthusiasm for the wine industry so went on to complete a Post-Graduate Diploma in Viticulture and Oenology at Lincoln University in 1995.
Amelia then took off on her OE spending time in Asia and Europe, visiting some of the world’s best known wine regions in France, Germany and Italy. With wine fast becoming her main focus, Amelia returned to New Zealand to complete a vintage at Vidal Estate in Hawke’s Bay. From there Amelia worked two vintages a year for the next 5 years in both France and New Zealand. This period as a ‘flying winemaker’ encompassed vintages in Hawke’s Bay in New Zealand and the Rhone Valley and Bordeaux in France.
Amelia joined Matariki Wines as Assistant Winemaker in December 2000 and was promoted to Senior Winemaker/Winery Manager in November 2003. She headed the winemaking team at Matariki for 5 years with a philosophy based firmly on the belief that the best wines are made in the vineyard and understanding the concept of ‘terroir’ is very important. She believes that the skill of a winemaker is to give a true expression of the fruit with the use of traditional and modern techniques both in the winery and vineyard.
Swirl Wine Ltd was established by Amelia in mid-2009 to enable her the flexibility of still being involved in the wine industry while raising her family with her husband Barry Riwai. Amelia is now able to offer her skills as an experienced winemaker and winery manager to consult other wineries and vineyards on their winemaking, research and development, compliancy and systems.
Amelia joined the Abbey team in 2011, helping improve and build on a great range of single estate wines.