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 John Belsham John Belsham

John Belsham

It’s been said If ever a film were made about New Zealand wine, John Belsham would be the leading man. He cut his winemaking teeth in Bordeaux before becoming one of New Zealand's most highly-regarded winemakers.

An international winemaker, wine business consultant and critic, John Belsham has over 40 years of wine industry experience that has shaped and guided some of the most successful wine companies today.

Belsham founded Marlborough Oak Imports in 1990, and today exclusively supplies the French oak wine barrels of Dargaud & Jaegle and Vallaurine to New Zealand wine companies.

Believing NZ had a serious future in premium, fine wine, he founded Foxes Island wines in 1992 to produce single vineyard, cellar aged wines, with a distinct focus on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.   

Nearly 30 years on, Foxes Island offers the widest selection of cellar aged wines on release in New Zealand.  His wines are sought the world over and the accolades keep coming.

In 1994, Belsham founded Wine Focus, a consulting practice focused in areas of business strategy, technical winemaking expertise, sensory evaluation and winery design.  He holds a number of board positions and advisory roles.

One of Australasia's most experienced and respected wine judges and critics, he was the wine consultant to Air New Zealand for 20 years and the lead wine panel chair for 16 years at Cuisine Magazine.

Belsham led the New Zealand screw cap initiative, which shifted 95% of the NZ wine industry from cork to cap closures within an 18 month period between 2000 and 2001.  Belsham continues as chair of the NZSCI whilst many papers have since been written on the positive disruption of adapting existing products in new, revolutionary ways.

Fluent in French and English, John speaks on a range of subjects and appears regularly for speaking engagements, television and film commentary.