Spade Oak Undergoes a Makeover


The Spade Oak wines of Steve and Eileen Voysey in Gisborne have just undergone a makeover to fill niches in the market place. The Voyseys have been growing grapes for over a decade and a half, and Steve making wine for over two decades. Steve is best known as the chief winemaker in Gisborne for Montana Wines, which became Allied Domecq, then Pernod-Ricard, and as such, he oversaw the development and production of some of this country's best known and loved brands and wines from ‘Lindauer' through to the Brancott ‘P' Patutahi Gewurztraminer. With Pernod-Ricard's sale of its Gisborne operatiom to Indevin and Lion-Nathan, Steve remains the head winemaker there, but he and Eileen now have the ability to expand their ‘Spade Oak' personal label to make a stronger presence in the market place.

Spade Oak now has three levels, with a ‘Voysey' range placed under the top ‘Reserve and intermediate ‘Heart of Gold' tiers. The ‘Voysey' wines have been hand-picked or crafted by Steve, and show his hand in creating wines of value. The wines can be sourced from any growing region. The ‘Heart of Gold' range consists of wines made from fruit from their home ‘Spade Oak' vineyard in Gisborne and includes individual blends and innovative varieties. These are in essence ‘Steve's playground'. The top-end ‘Reserve' wines are the classics from the ‘Spade Oak' vineyard and are the finest expressions possible, incorporating Steve's adventurous approach of making funky and interesting wines with complexity. They are the epitome of the Voyseys' work as vignerons, and it is likely that this range will become the ‘Vigneron Series' in the future!

The most obvious change is in the labelling which harks back to the first releases, but there is a clear differentiation between the tiers through the use of different colours, and there is a strong branding connection among all three levels with the use of the same ‘Spade Oak' name, logo and design. It is very obvious the Yoyseys wish to raise the profile of Spade Oak, and the increased ranges and greater breadth will ensure wider market coverage. It's exciting times indeed for these veteran industry people who will no doubt grow stronger. Here, I review the latest release wines with their new livery. www.spadeoak.co.nz


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