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Meet Jody Pagey

I’m in the pointy end of my thirties, South Island born and bred and Winemaker for Mount Michael Wines.

I live on a lifestyle block in Central Otago with my wife Meghan, Huntaway dog Forrest, two cats Isla and Barry, four chickens, a rooster named Bernard, a pair of pigs called Big Stripe and Scratch and their 12 piglets.

I moved to Central Otago in 2007 to start the more settled stage of my winemaking career after spending 2 years as a travelling winemaker, I spent a further seven years winemaking at Terra Sancta. I didn’t realise at the time that it would lead to me discovering so many wonderful things that would play such important roles in my life. It was in Central Otago that I meet my wife, learned to ski, adopted my first dog, started restoring an old Land Rover, purchased our first home and began a journey of discovery and learning with Pinot Noir that continues to this day.

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The opportunity to work for a boutique, premium wine producer as part of a smaller team; hand crafting tiny quantities of honest wine and having real input into the growth and success of this little wine company is what bought me to Mount Michael.
2018 marks my twentieth vintage and while several stand out in my mind for different reasons, this one has without doubt been my most anticipated, exciting and rewarding to date. Working with single vineyards and single ferments is both challenging and satisfying as you only get one shot to get it right, but you also get to see the wines take shape from very early on in their journey.

My winemaking philosophy is one of restraint. I think the role of the winemaker should be one of interpretation. Listening to the season, understanding what that means for the fruit and then translating that into wine that speaks of its origins. The vineyard, the soils and the season should be easily recognisable in the wines, not the winemaker.

At Mount Michael I hope to share my winemaking journey and the story of each vintage, be sure to receive our ‘Behind the Vines’ seasonal updates if you want to come along that journey.