Tokyo-born Hiroyuki Kusuda could easily be the most extraordinary wine producer we have ever come across, trained as a lawyer, who worked as a diplomat before throwing it all up to pursue his other love, wine and winemaking. In 1996, Hiro went to Germany to learn the language and then started studying Oenology and Viticulture at Geisenheim University then emigrated to New Zealand to pursue both the Riesling and Pinot grapes.
Kusuda Wines was established in Martinborough without its own facilities or vineyard. Luckily, Hiroyuki soon secured a lease for a small but well established vineyard in Martinborough. With the huge support of his friend Kai Schubert of Schubert Wines, he was able to realise his dream of making his wine.
Obviously the main market for Kusuda is Japan, where they have developed a cult following. Every year there are volunteers flying to New Zealand from Japan at harvest time to pick and sort grapes. Every grape is rigorously checked before making the cut. Hiro Kusuda is meticulous to an almost fanatical degree, but it explains the exceptional quality and amazing precision of his wines.
They're never around for long as there's so few of them around. It's an extra special treat but one that you won't regret.