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Barry Riwai joins Alpha Domus as Head Winemaker

Alpha Domus has announced a changing of the guard after 10 years, with Kate Galloway passing on the winemaking reigns to the highly regarded Barry Riwai. Alpha Domus Managing Director Paul Ham said “Barry’s appointment to replace Kate will see a continuance of her hard work of making quality wines, but also add a new face to the promotion of the wineries much acclaimed wines.
“Barry is well known as both an excellent wine maker and as a wine judge. Our formula of creating consistently great wines doesn’t change but we have the additional benefit of a new face, with Barry keen to also be more involved in marketing and promoting the brand around New Zealand and beyond,” Paul said.

Barry brings with him strong wine making experience particularly with Chardonnay, having been with Clearview Winery in Te Awanga, Hawke’s Bay for the last 10 years. Originally from Hamilton, Barry moved to Hawke’s Bay in 1997 to study viticulture at EIT and he’s looking forward to being back in the Bridge Pa Triangle wine region. “I’m looking forward to getting back to this side of Hawke’s Bay, it’s where all the action is with all the major wine brands in the area.

“Alpha Domus’ reputation for Syrah and Red Blends is a major draw card for me, as well as moving to a larger progressive winery and all the challenges this brings. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve got a good palate, backed by good knowledge of Hawke’s Bay wine and an interest in the marketing side of wines. I have some goals that I want to achieve, which I can do here at Alpha Domus,” Barry said.

Kate Galloway, who started as a cellarhand in 2002 before moving to the winemaker role in 2005, is taking a break from winemaking, but will be watching with keen interest the influence Barry will have at Alpha Domus. “I’m particularly proud that we have been able to make consistently high quality wines in years that have been regarded as great vintages but also in those that have been more challenging. That’s the difference of working at a winery like Alpha Domus which has its vines on site. We can monitor the vineyard closely and make instant decisions as vintage approaches. It’s more hand-on, and that makes a real difference when it comes to consistency,” Kate said.

Paul says “Kate has been instrumental in the ongoing development of high quality single vineyard wines and the growing list of award winning wines. At the same time, this is a really exciting time for us. It looks like we have another great vintage on the way and a new winemaker that’s keen to stamp his mark.”

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