Meet the Challenge winemakers: David Tyney of Cirro Wines

Good wines are made from good fruit, but great wines are made from good fruit, time and attention to detail,” says David Tyney of Cirro Wines in Marlborough, New Zealand, when asked about his philosophy of making wine.

Prior to being a wine-making consultant, Tyney was senior winemaker and manager of Marlborough Vintners. During that time, he managed more than 20 branded clients, 50 vintage staff at harvest, and worked with grapes such as Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay, Gewurtztraminer, Pinot Gris, Merlot and Gruner Veltliner. In addition to managing wine-making teams, Tyney has had experience with lab staff, budgeting, supplier and client relationships, and implementing new winery systems

“From a wine business perspective, systems and processes are the most important of any winery operation,” he says.

Tyney also worked at Giesen Wine Estate in Blenheim, New Zealand, at Constellation Winery in Monterey, California, and at Yalumba Wine Company in Barossa Valley, South Australia.

Among his achievements, he cites an experience during an extremely wet and high disease-prone harvest. Given the wine team could not stop the rain, it took alternative measures.

“One included using a helicopter to hover in front of the harvester to blow off unwanted moisture from the rain,” he says. The result: to deliver fruit with more sugar concentration.

In terms of his motivation for coming to Ningxia, Tyney notes that he is no stranger to China. “My parents have lived in Shanghai and Beijing for the several years. I have visited China three times recently and find the culture, landscape and people fascinating,” he says.

“I would like to visit China more often and would embrace any opportunity to share my wine-making experiences with Chinese consumers and professionals,” he explains. “I believe that the Chinese wine industry is rapidly growing and I would like to be part of this.”

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