Winemaker, Southern Hemisphere, The Flying Winemaker
Part winemaker, part adventurer – Johnson Scutt has made wine from over 11 different countries, including Spain, Italy, Hungary and Cyprus. Originally from New Zealand, Scutt grew up on his family’s winemaking estate, which ignited his passion to pursue wine. He earned his Wine Science degree and worked for several years in Australia before setting out to travel the world. This adventure included double harvests each year, flying from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere to make wine. Finally, he settled in the UK to work with European wines. In 2004, he joined WX as the Director of Sourcing, first for Europe and now for the Southern Hemisphere. Scutt is devoted to finding and delivering honest varietal expression for the best value. He currently lives in New Zealand with his wife, kids and two Catalan cats.
The 1980s propelled Australia into the minds and hearts of Americans. For some, it was Crocodile Dundee. But for wine lovers, it was outgoing, unpretentious wines that showed rich, juicy flavors. Australians had been making wines for 100 years but with improved winemaking developments in the eighties, they began see amazing success. Although we think of Australia as the dry “Outback” portrayed in movies, a majority of the people (and the wines) cling to the southern perimeter of the continent, where the weather is cooler and more maritime. A few hours from the coast, the vineyards experience balanced temperatures of warm days and cool nights. Australia also happens to be the oldest continent in the world, with ancient, weathered soils that are well-draining and poor in nutrients. Although this sounds bad, it is exactly what vines need to produce quality fruit. Vine vigor is reduced and the plant focuses all of its energy on the grapes and developing rich, concentrated flavors.