About Us

Wine Diamonds New Zealand is a partnership between the founders of Wine Diamonds Japan and Marlborough based wine bar operator Dan Gillett. We import and distribute select wines of a common vein throughout New Zealand.

WE BASE OUR PORTFOLIO ON THREE MAIN CRITERIA:

I In the vineyard - a focus on sustainably farmed wines made with minimal intervention. Must be farmed either organically or biodynamically.

II In the winery - a focus on wines made with absolute minimum intervention in the winery. Wines must be made without any additions during the winemaking process. This includes introduced yeast, acid, tannin, enzymes, sulphur dioxide or any other chemical addition. The wines are not ‘taken from’ or subjected to any modern technology or processes. Oak usage is minimised allowing maximum expression of fruit. 

III In the bottle - finally, a focus is made on wines with the absolute least done to take them to bottle. This means no fining or filtration and wines are bottled with either zero or the absolute minimum sulphur dioxide or preservative possible. We aim for zero but allow a minimal amount for bottle stability/temperature resistance. 

BACKGROUND

Wine Diamonds Japan was formed in Tokyo in April 2012 with the mission of introducing Japan to a wave of new and exciting wines being produced in Australia and New Zealand. It is a partnership between New Zealander and long-time wine importer Carl Robinson, Master of Wine Ned Goodwin M.W., Japan’s only Master of Wine, Ken-Ichi Ohashi M.W., and Japan’s largest online wine retailer, Yoshi Washitani.

PHILOSOPHY

We back the artisan, the iconoclast and anyone working tirelessly to push their wines to the next level. We secure small allocations of sought-after wines and make them available to restaurants, wine bars and select independent retailers. All our wines are made by ‘someone’, ‘somewhere’. This means no marketing, contracted-out, ad-bro, second-label, offshoot-of-a-mainstream label nonsense. All our wines represent a time, a place and the efforts of the producer. All the producers we work with are either family-owned or owner-operated and their livelihoods depend on their work and the wine they sell.

'NATURAL WINE'

This is a term you will see used plenty within the market, but not as often by us. All our wines are natural wines, but we neither chose nor drink them for this reason alone. This is a feature of our portfolio but not the defining character. All our wines are chosen because they are stand-alone ‘good’ wines with poise, freshness, character, and sheer drinkability.

We aim for expression of time and place and see natural winemaking as the best translation from grape to glass. First and foremost, our wines are not stylised or based on anything else; they are representative of a vineyard and a vintage.

Some of our wines may be cloudy in appearance, wild and exotic to the eye even, but they will always be softer on the palate than ‘finished’ wines and have the upper hand. We use the term ‘finished’ as the antithesis of ‘natural’. Our attention is paid to drinkability and purity – two aspects that should drive anyone’s palate and help convert curiosity and consumption into pleasure and persistence.

IMPORTING, RELEASE DATES & SECURING ALLOCATIONS

We aim to have wine arriving into the country every few months, keeping the supply of exciting new wine constant throughout the year. As we continue to expand and find our place in the market our aspirations have grown and already changed somewhat, and they’ll probably keep on changing. Over time we aim to provide customers with enough to write a wine list that offers balance, breadth and depth. 

We align every import with the seasonal release dates of our producers and because of their small production and limited nature, most wines are not available all year round. Our portfolio is best suited to adaptive, seasonal lists that get printed on the regular and keep their customers just as excited as us. If you would like a confirmed allocation of a given wine, please get in touch and let us know what you need.