The Story of Prophet’s Rock
Unique Old-World Experience Brought Home to New Zealand
Each glass of Prophet’s Rock embodies the old world and the new, past and present, place and practices.
It has been said that the essence of a place can be found in a glass of wine. This is true of the Prophet’s Rock range. But in our wines there is an essence of these travels too, a sensorial souvenir of Paul’s journey into wine.
Originally from New Zealand, winemaker Paul Pujol has always been drawn to the Pinot Noirs and aromatic whites of France. He joined Prophet’s Rock after a six-year around the world odyssey chasing these varietals, travels palpable in the wines he makes today.
His traditional aesthetic — respectful, patient, vineyard-focused — resonates in our wines, and frees them to express the unique tenor of our sites.
His winemaking is a sensitive, site-driven, and empathic approach which aims to express the beauty of the place rather than pronounced winemaking characters.
Paul got his start working a vintage at Marlborough’s Seresin Estate. He then headed for France, where he took in three more consecutive vintages: in the Languedoc, for Henri Bourgeois in Chavignol (Sancerre) and for the prestigious Maison Kuentz-Bas in Alsace. (Yes, that’s four vintages in one year).
Maison Kuentz-Bas offered him the head winemaking position, and he became the first non-family winemaker at Kuentz-Bas since the house was founded in 1795, and possibly the first-ever permanent foreign winemaker in Alsace. Paul stayed at Kuentz-Bas for three years, producing wine from their six Grand Cru vineyards and other holdings.
Subsequently, Paul spent several years in Oregon at boutique organic producer Lemelson Vineyards. He returned to Oregon in 2006 to assist Cheryl Francis and Sam Tannahill at pioneering Oregon producer Rex Hill, producing a guest cuvée of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.
Perhaps the highlight of his round-the-world winemaking experiences was being invited to work the 2009 vintage in Chambolle-Musigny, Burgundy.
Exceptional Wines from Exceptional Vineyards
Our vineyards are the foundation of our wines, and we’re fanatical about looking after them. Our journey starts in the vines, where we grow low yielding fruit with great concentration and flavour, fruit we then treat with deference.
Harvesting is by hand, and our approach in the winery is considered.
Our Pinot Gris and Riesling are slowly and gently whole-bunch pressed, followed by long slow ferments in barrel and aging on yeast lees prior to bottling just before the next harvest.
Our Pinot Noir requires minimal extraction due to the natural concentration of the fruit, and is fermented using only indigenous yeast from the vineyard. In barrel, the wines go through spontaneous malolactic fermentation and receive extended élevage. The Prophet’s Rock Pinot Noir are bottled unfiltered and are cellared before release.