Babich Wines make world-class Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and other varietals. They are also the largest family owned winery in New Zealand, and the story of how the family came to make wine is fascinating to say the least. We are honored to have David Babich, CEO of Babich Wines join us for this special episode. David took on the role of CEO in 2001, and has helped to lead Babich Wines into one of New Zealand’s leading wineries and a highly regarded global wine brand. What comes across very clearly in his story is the passion for not only the wine they make, but also his pride in his family and their legacy. Join us to hear more about what makes Babich Wines so special - the care with which they make their wines which are sustainable and increasingly organic - and the amazing story of a group of brothers who left their homeland in Croatia at young ages to start a new life in New Zealand. We know you will enjoy listening to this interview as much as we enjoyed talking with David.
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Special Episode! Meet the (Wine) Makers: Dave Babich CEO of Babich Wines 00:00
Hi Everyone! Welcome to a special episode of The Wine Pair Podcast - where I give Carmela a much needed break - and I get the chance to interview people who are actually involved in making wine! Which is pretty cool! This week I am talking to David Babich, the CEO of Babich wines, an organic and sustainable wine producer from New Zealand. Here we go!
Introduction to the interview 00:27
Hello, and welcome to The Wine Pair Podcast! I’m Joe, your sommelier of reasonably priced wine, and for this special episode, I am on my own as my wine pairing partner in crime is taking care of other things - probably making cakes for her Baby Cakes business.
Now, as a quick orientation to our podcast, what we usually do in each episode is learn about, taste, and review three wines that are reasonably priced, which means under $20, and should be easy to find. However, for this special set of episodes, we will interview people who are involved in actually making wine. Sometimes, like today, those wines don’t necessarily fall into the reasonably priced range. But that’s ok! Because part of what we want to do with our podcast is to educate ourselves and you on different aspects of wine knowledge in a fun, entertaining, and unstuffy way, even fun and entertaining as Decanter magazine has called our podcast, and that is what we are doing today!
In a minute, you’ll hear my interview with David Babich who is the CEO of Babich wines in New Zealand whose family has been making wine in New Zealand since 1916!
And a small plug before we get to the interview - if you like what you are hearing or are interested in hearing our other “regular” episodes, please subscribe to our podcast so you can hear more - especially since you are only getting one half of The Wine Pair Podcast in this episode!
Ok, let’s get to the interview with David Babich
David Babich Interview 01:57
Hello, David and welcome to The Wine Pair Podcast. We are so happy to have you here, and we so appreciate you generously offering your time to talk with us.
Again, for our listeners, David Babich is the CEO of Babich Wines, which is New Zealand’s oldest family owned winery. And when we say old, we mean the Babich family has been making wine in New Zealand since David’s grandfather started 107 years ago! But rather than me telling you about it, I am going to have you, David, tell our listeners about it, and about how you got into winemaking, which I imagine has a lot to do with the long history of winemaking in your family. So David, please, if you wouldn’t mind tell us your story (So, tell us, David, how did you get into winemaking)
Was it always your plan to go into winemaking, or did you think you would do something else? Was there an expectation from your father that you would be involved?
- What do you think defines you and Babich wines? What makes you special?
- What do people who love your wines say about them?
- Your wines are sustainable and organic and have been sustainable for over 100 years - tell us more about that, you were the first to be certified as sustainable. Why is that important? Does it make for a better wine?
- You are also very thoughtful when it comes to the water you use in your farming. What do you do to be active in water conservation, and why does that matter?
- Specialize in Sauvignon Blanc. Why is New Zealand such a good place for making great Sauvignon Blanc?
As I have learned more about wine, I realize that winemaking is, well, first, if you own a vineyard, fundamentally about farming, and then when it comes to winemaking, part science and part art. Where do you think you fall on that continuum?
Tell us more about your farming practices and why you think that makes your wine special
In our family, we have a long-standing tradition of Sunday night dinner. Every Sunday, we get the whole family together and, since we are of Italian heritage, we usually eat Italian food over multi courses, and we always have a nice wine. If - and we hope it is when - we get to have you over for Sunday night dinner, what Babich wine or wines would you bring and why?
Thank you so much, David, for being such a wonderful guest and being so open in sharing your stories. I am sure our listeners are anxious to find out how to find your wines and follow you on social media, so please share with us how they can do that.
Wonderful, and we will have this information on our website in the show notes for this episode, and in our social media. Thank you so much again, it was a real pleasure to spend some time with you, and I sincerely hope in the not so distant future to visit New Zealand and come to your winery. Thank you David. Ciao ciao.
Outro, and How to Find Babich Wines 53:52
Alright - We want to thank you very much for listening to our interview with David Babich from Babich Wines. That was a wonderful conversation, and I can tell you that David was just as warm and open and easy to talk to when we weren’t recording as when we were.
Just in case you are worried about memorizing all of this, don’t worry, you can find out all of this information on our website thewinepairpodcast.com in our show notes for this episode, and you can follow Babich Wines on Instagram via @babichwines or find them online at babichwines.com https://www.babichwines.com/ or on Facebook at Babich wines
And, we hope you will subscribe to our podcast The Wine Pair Podcast and follow us on Instagram, and we look forward to hearing from you, and as we like to say, life is short, so stop drinking shitty wine.