Kim Crawford Wines is renowned for consistent, exceptional quality wines, vintage after vintage. Paramount to the success of these esteemed wines is, of course, the winemakers. Anthony Walkenhorst may be recently appointed as the Kim Crawford Chief Winemaker, but he is definitely not the “new kid on the block!” Based at the Riverlands Winery in Blenheim, Anthony joined the Kim Crawford Wines team in 2005. Working alongside former winemakers, Kim Crawford and Matt Large, they collaborated in creating the philosophy and style of the wines which continues to thrive today.
Anthony’s career as a winemaker was motivated by a genuine passion for wine which grew from hands-on work experience in a winery within Australia’s Yarra Valley. As Anthony proclaims, “Being a winemaker allows me to combine creativity and science which I love. I was hooked from the beginning!”
Following his work in Australia, Anthony went on to gain a First Class Honours Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Oenology) from one of the leading institutions for oenology and viticulture, The University of Adelaide, South Australia (formerly known as Roseworthy). On his quest to learn all aspects of wine, Anthony took his studies further, following the vintage trail to experience harvests in Australia, the U.S. and Canada, including the Napa Valley, Ontario and the Barossa Valley.
When a job opportunity opened up in New Zealand at Kim Crawford Wines, Anthony jumped at the chance to work with the acclaimed wine brand and the infamous Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc grape. His first harvest proved to be very exciting with Kim Crawford winning the Sauvignon Blanc Trophy at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards! Anthony fell in love with Kim Crawford and New Zealand and has been part of the award-winning team ever since.
Like his predecessors, Anthony likes to get involved in all aspects of winemaking, from the day-to-day running of the winery through to the harvest and blending decisions. “I feel that it is great honor to be the winemaker for Kim Crawford Wines. There have been some great winemakers that have worked with the brand to get it to where it is today. I want to use what I have learned from them, but also add my own touch to the wines.”
Anthony is married to his wife, Jane, and they have two daughters, Lilly and Josephine.To unwind after a day at the winery, he loves to hit a ball whether it is golf, tennis or squash. His ultimate treat is waterskiing on the beautiful Marlborough Sounds, finished off with a glass of Pinot Noir!