Meet Melissa Nelsen, one of our rockstar winemakers

“There are no failures in life, just people who give up,” a lesson Melissa was taught from a very young age and a message she has carried with her throughout. Previously a pilot who mastered the skies, she is now a bubbly winemaker who has mastered the barrel. Although very distant from one another, this transition was about Melissa following her passion. She found it and went for it, creating beautiful Genevieve MCC we all enjoy and love today. She tells us; “It was from the encouragement to think big that Genevieve was created. If I live to enjoy it, why not make it?”

We asked Melissa a few questions to get to know this bubbly go-getter better, and this is what she had to say.

What inspired you to make wine for a living?
Pretty simple really. A passion for bubbles lead tome making it part of my life, needless to say I won’t be a billionaire soon but do get to drink amazing wines and bubblies that make me very content.

What excites you about making wine?
You may use the same recipe to make wine each year but with changes to climate, harvest conditions , cellar conditions leaves each vintage with a story to tell and have a glass of bubbly after thanking the wine gods for coming to the party!

What are some of your favourite aspects of your wine region?
Besides our community of winemakers each striving to show their intricate personalities in their wine, we believe we are the centre of the universe..

Tell us about your best wine that you have brought to the market and what it felt like creating and sharing it?
Genevieve MCC 2008, too much anticipation in showcasing my first vintage and tasting it again and again and then understanding I had something really good to work with and introduce to the market.

What’s your favourite wine and why?
Besides bubbly, a beautifully well made chenin blanc – Hope Marguerite a favourite.

What would your message be to people discovering and drinking wine for the first time?
Wine is personal, keep on trying different varietals and styles until you find one that suits your taste, while being open to new tastes as your palate changes, as you learn more about the wine you try.

 Wine lingo – your favourite wine word and what it means?
‘Toad’s eyes’ Large bubbles are the mark of lesser sparklers and are dismissed by the French as oeils de crapaud (toad’s eyes).

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