New Zealand Sommelier Wine Tasting in Tokyo

  • Celia Hay

Wayne Shennen of Rangitoto Wine & Sake Bar, Andrea Martinisi and Marek Przyborek.

 A fun ending to an intense week of training and competitions at the ASI Association of Sommeliers International Asia Oceania Best Sommelier Competition culminated with champion sommeliers Andrea Martinisi and Marek Przyborek, and Celia Hay, chair of NZSWP happily shared some of our leading NZ wines, currently available in Japan, with our sommelier colleagues.

Please download the event booklet here


Andrea with Japan sommeliers Ryoga Nakamura and Taku Iguro of Japan Sommelier Association. Taku was placed 4th in ASI Best Sommelier Asia-Oceania Competition. Also pictured is Japan's leading woman sommelier Miyuki Morimoto, who spent a year working in New Zealand and now with Conrad Hotels.

It was very nice to catch up with Ettore Donadeo, graduate of NZ School of Food and Wine and now an educator at Caplan Corporation, the leading provider of WSET courses in Japan. Ettore was joined by a number of his past students who are New Zealand wine enthusiasts...and want to taste more New Zealand wines in Tokyo!

We were also honoured to have the NZ Trade Commissioner, Craig Pettigrew attend and Misa Kitaoka from Education NZ, both based at the NZ Embassy in Tokyo.


Included in our guests were Anton and Zy, two sommeliers from Kazakhstan (picture left) and legendary Japan/Kiwi somm, Fumi Nakatani who worked at Masu for many years.

The Wines

We are very grateful to the wineries for their support in this tasting. Our guests were thrilled to taste a diverse range of wine styles from New Zealand. A selection of  Classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from Folium, Mahi and Cloudy Bay plus Craggy Range in Martinborough were contrasted with the complex notes of Man O' War Gravestone barrel-fermented Sauvignon Semillon.

Pinot Noir from Palliser Estate &The Elder in Martinborough, Nautilus Greywacke in Marlborough, Pegasus Bay in North Canterbury and Amisfield in Central Otago and with a range of vintages offered an intriguing picture of how this style is evolving. The Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir 2012, a 10 year old wine with youthful vibrancy provided an excellent example of how New Zealand Pinot Noir can gracefully mature.

Hans Herzog Spirit of Marlborough 2014, a Bordeaux blend, in Japan, a country of Bordeaux aficionados, reinforced the understanding that New Zealand is capable of making top quality wines beyond Sauvignon Blanc. Alpha Domus, The Aviator and Te Mata Bullnose Syrah reinforced this message.

The links below go through to wineries and their tasting notes on each wine.


Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir 2012. North Canterbury


Mahi Sauvignon Blanc 2021. Marlborough

Alpha Domus, The Aviator Cabernet Merlot 2018. Hawkes Bay

Te Mata Bullnose Syrah 2019. Hawkes Bay

Hans Herzog Spirit of Marlborough 2014. Marlborough

Nautilus Pinot Noir 2015. Marlborough

Palliser Estate Hua Nui Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2020. Martinborough, Greywacke Pinot Noir 2020. Marlborough, Amisfield RKV (Rocky Knoll Vineyard) Pinot Noir 2017. Central Otago.

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2022. Marlborough

Man O' War Gravestone Sauvignon Blanc 2018. Waiheke Island, Auckland

Folium Sauvignon Blanc 2021. Marlborough

Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc 2022. Te Muna, Martinborough

Rangitoto Tokyo, New Zealand Wine & Craft Sake Bar is the bistro of kiwi Wayne Shennen, a member of the NZSWP executive committee, and his wife, Makie. Here Wayne and Andrea stand at the entrance to Rangitoto Wine and Sake Bar.


Author: Celia Hay 20/11/22


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