The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Third Family of Twelve wine tutorial set for 2020

The Family of Twelve have announced a third wine tutorial set for 2020, taking place from August 2-4th among the vines in Marlborough, home to four family wineries.

“It’s hugely entertaining, educational and collegial,” says Family Chair Paul Donaldson.

The tutorial is now regarded as a pinnacle event in the New Zealand wine industry and all those working with New Zealand wine globally are encouraged to apply.

The purpose of the wine tutorial is to pass on first-hand knowledge and the mantle of excellence to the next generation of industry leaders taking New Zealand wine into the future.  The tutorial is open globally to those working with New Zealand wine in the spheres of sommelier, wine retail, wine education and wine journalism.

“The first two tutorials have given the Family not just enormous pride but the strong sense that we’ve created true momentum, forging an institution with a life of its own,” says Donaldson. “As an articulate and very networked bunch, the ambassadors created at the first two tutorials are spreading the word among their peers. We’re very encouraged by the interest and buzz within the sommelier and education circles and expect another superb field of applications for the 2020 tutorial.”

Donaldson says he is proud of how confidently the Family wines sat alongside labels from some of the world’s most renowned wine producers.

“The Family of Twelve Wine Tutorial is an incredible couple of days benchmarking the best New Zealand wines against the best of the world.,” he says. “We spent time with their inspiring winemakers to understand the why, where and how of their iconic wines whilst being surrounded by fellow like-minded, passionate wine people.”

Stephen Wong MW, the 2019 tutorial external moderator, says the tutorial “certainly has to be one of the most exciting developments in NZ wine for our sommelier community.” Applications will open shortly for 12 wine professionals to join the unique two-and-a-half-day wine tutorial. It will feature eight compelling workshops and three superb dinners, with Family members presenting a selection of Family wines alongside fine international benchmark wines. All candidates will be selected through a written submission which will address the question: “Why do you think you’ll make a good ambassador for fine New Zealand wine?”

At the conclusion of the tutorial, one of the 12 candidates will receive the ‘The Family of Twelve Award’ for the tutorial’s standout communicator. To establish ‘The Family of Twelve Award’, all participants will be appraised on both the strength and persuasion of their communication and on their tasting ability. The winner will receive a dozen magnums of the Family’s hero wines for their cellar.

Applications open 1st November 2019 and close 17th January 2020.

For further information and to apply please visit