Nicky Parish

Winemaker at Dunnolly


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 love.


Why did you get into wine making?

My father was my inspiration.  My father has always involved in the liquor trade through his profession, so it was very much part of my childhood.  When he and my mother purchased the bare land in Waipara in 1995 and started planting vines I spent most of my university holidays working in the vineyard - and I really enjoyed it. From there, it seemed like a natural progression to become a viticulturalist.  After finishing university, I applied for a vintage role at Mission Estate Winery just to get some practical experience of how to actually make wine.  Once I started, I was hooked and never left winemaking…

What is your favourite part about wine making?

The diversity, the drama, the excitement.  There is always a challenge with winemaking and you need to evolve constantly. Every season is different and new techniques are learnt from each vintage experience.

What is your favourite wine to make?

Hands down – Chardonnay.  I love everything about making Chardonnay, a wine can transformed by the simplest of touches.  From the picking decision and the selection of oak to the percentage of malolactic fermentation applied.  It is an incredible variety and has so much to offer when treated with time and respect.

Is there a story behind the name of the wine?

Our label is Dunnolly.  When Mum and Dad first brought the land and planted a vineyard, there was much discussion on how we name the block.  The Parish Block seemed like the most obvious fit.  It wasn’t until we relocated a beautiful old villa onto the property that a name was finally chosen.  The villa was much like my Grandmother’s childhood home in Dunedin & was called Dunnolly.  The name resonates with us as home.  It’s where we spend our Christmases; it’s a house full of laughter & good wine.  It is the name that we work really hard for!  

If you weren't making wine what would you be doing?

I love to paint.  I would spend my time painting – or actually learning how to paint properly. I have a flair for creativity and that is probably why winemaking is so well suited to my personality. 

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 Mount Base

Winemaker at Tash

Winemaker at Ata Mara