Getting to know... Amy Farnsworth of Amoise

Getting to know... Amy Farnsworth of Amoise

Getting to know... A series that aims to shine a light on New Zealand’s outstanding makers, producers, winegrowers and artisans.

Having been on our radar for a while, we recently sat down to taste with Amy Farnsworth of Amoise. Before a drop of wine had passed anyone's lips, Amy’s incredible passion and enthusiasm was clear to us. Her depth of experience is amazing, having worked for the likes of Camille Giroud, Vietti, Alain Graillot, Marcel Lapierre, Brokenwood, Black Estate, Felton Road and Paritua. 

Starting Amoise in Hawke's Bay in 2018, Amy sources fruit from organic vineyards, producing expressive natural wines. They offer immediate drinking pleasure, with plenty to contemplate in the glass.

My local is…

Vinci’s Pizza in Napier. In-house fermented sourdough, creative and fun specials every week, great wine & beer fridge as well as wine on tap. The place has a good vibe and eclectic playlists. Long live the Big Mac slice! Please bring it back.

My defining moment in the world of wine was...

When my first and extremely eccentric restaurant boss Uli Blume pulled out a 1971 JJ Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese from his personal cellar above the restaurant. At the time I was sponsored by Wolf Blass Yellow Label and hadn’t ventured much further than that. When I tried this wine, it changed everything for me because I didn’t realise that wines like that existed! It made me want to learn more, taste more and essentially opened the door to the beginning of my wine education.

10 years later, I stayed in a guest house directly opposite that famous sundial vineyard (Wehlener Sonnenuhr) at Ernie Loosen’s with friends. Danke Uli!

My go-to knock off drink is…

Usually a nice cold beer after a long hot day working in the vineyard. Sometimes it’s a shower beer, other times it can be a visit to Brave Brewing for a Stay Gold or People’s Pils.

Favourite story about a vintage at Amoise?

– My first Amoise vintage was 2018, I just so happened to be in a moon boot as I was recovering from a freak accident involving a freshly sharpened knife
falling off a cutting board and right through one of my tendons. I had decided I wanted to add a bit of Gewurtztraminer to the Gris and I settled on 4% because I couldn’t walk anymore of the row! By the end of harvest, I was out of the boot and had my first wine made.

In the mornings you’ll find me…

in the vineyard at work.

My go-to spot for a glass of wine in Hawke’s Bay?

Matisse wine bar has an extensive and amazing wine list and always has something by the glass that’s right up our alley. I’m stoked that Bar Teresa has recently opened as they have an eclectic wine and spirits list as well as amazing hospitality. 

New Zealand's best kept secret is…

My secret waterfall where I can still feel the spirit of my soulmate doggie Taringa Nui. We used to run the path to it and he would bark at the water. I call it my ‘truth’ waterfall as I often sit on a rock and ponder things there.

There is no better value than...

Taste of Home Noodles or KC café, both in Wellington. I have to go there every time I’m in town.

The best BYO in New Zealand is…

Often at our house or at a close friend’s place. These are times when you break out the big bots, show up with a sock covering them and play wine options. Wine is always more enjoyable when shared with good people.

What's in the pipeline for Amoise?

I’ll soon be releasing my 2021 Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc. Harvest is just around the corner so that’s always exciting. This year I’ll look at increasing my keg wine offerings and I’m excited to fill the amphorae again! There’s also been talk of some winemaker dinners in the winter.