Kirsty Harkness

Winemaker at Mount Base


New Zealand Wine Society is fortunate to work closely with incredibly dedicated growers and winemakers; women who have mastered the art and science of transforming grapes into the wonderful drink we


How did you get into wine making?

Originally I entered the wine industry as an investor, but then I fell in love with viticulture. I love being on the land, farming the grapes from bursting buds to award-winning wine, and everything in between!

What is your favourite part about wine making?

My favourite part of growing grapes is ensuring nature on the vineyard is balanced. The vines, insect life, wild flowers, native birds, native plants and our team are all healthy and happy. In my experience, this balance makes the ingredients for the best wine.

What is your favourite wine to make?

At Mount Base we specialize in growing Sauvignon Blanc. It’s quite special to put all our effort into ensuring we give this one variety maximum love. I also enjoy drinking a good Chardonnay and most well-made NZ Reds. I could name my favourite regions, varieties and wine makers, but truth is NZ wine regions usually make good wine!

Is there a story behind the name of the wine?

I was standing there after an extreme cold night, and as the sun was rising, every range around me was covered in snow. It was magical! I felt like I was at the base of the mountains. Hence Mount Base.

What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

I absolutely love to travel. I’m up to 59 countries and counting... I also love anything to do with water. Swimming, fishing, diving. I am rather social, so catching up with family & friends is always high priority.

My favourite spot is sitting with friends and a wine and watching the sun setting over the vineyard. Nature; can’t beat it!

Click on the images below to read about the following women in wine:

Winemaker for Hawkesbridge Estate

Winemaker at Nobody's Hero

Winemaker at Ten Rocks

Winemaker at Tash

Winemaker at Ata Mara

Winemaker at Dunnolly