Nikolai St George leads Ara’s winemaking team ensuring they offer a suite of wines for wine lovers across the world to enjoy. Nikolai joined Ara in early 2016 bringing with him three consecutive ‘Winemaker of the Year’ titles: New Zealand Royal Easter Wine Show 2015 and 2013 and the 2014 New Zealand International Wine Show.
Originally from the King Country, Nikolai’s winemaking career has taken him around New Zealand and the world - including stints in Chile, France, Australia and the United States.
Nikolai is driven to create great tasting wines that people love to drink. He says experience over multiple vintages has taught him that wine shouldn’t be seen as pretentious. “The best wines I have had are not usually ones from the great Chateaus or Domaines. My most unforgettable wines complement an occasion - that could be travelling or dinner with family – at its essence wine is about sharing…”
It’s this understanding which drives his winemaking philosophy. Nikolai crafts wines that have a sense of place, and tell the story of the growing season. His practical, rural Kiwi upbringing means he embraces the season and adapts his winemaking to work harmoniously with what nature provides.
Nikolai and his family moved to Marlborough in 2016 and love getting out and exploring the region. Unfortunately for Nik the family have seen through his generous offers of day trips and recognise most are thinly disguised reconnaissance to find great dive spots.
In addition to his family – and winemaking – Nikolai’s passion is the ocean, especially free diving for seafood or spearfishing.