Shaky Bridge Wines names Mike Kush as winemaker and general manager

Mike Kush and Dave Grant from Shaky Bridge Winery. Image Shaky Bridge

Central Otago based Shaky Bridge have announced Mike Kush as winemaker and general manager to lead the winery and reaffirm its commitment to producing best-in-class Pinot Noir that reflects the best of the region and Alexandra basin.

“We are one of the original wineries in Central Otago with my parents Gill and the late Bill Grant planting some of the first vines in the region back in 1973,” said Dave Grant, owner and winemaker at Shaky Bridge.

“Mike, with his range of experiences, passion for the region, and commitment to quality, is the perfect person to come on board and lead the winery.  He knows the best wines in the world with one foot in the old world and one foot in the new world, and has a vision for where Central Otago and Pinot Noir from the region can go.”

Originally from Chicago, USA, Kush began his winemaking career in Sonoma County and has worked for wineries worldwide, including New Zealand, Burgundy, Mosel, Argentina, Portugal, and South Africa.

He is also the winemaker and owner of Chasing Harvest wines, producing wines in New Zealand and Douro, Portugal.

Mike is a candidate for the Masters of Wine, currently in Stage 2, having passed the four day theory examination and looking to pass the 36-wine blind-tasting Practical exam this June. He also teaches Wine Business for Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute.

“Although I’ve travelled and worked all over the wine world, I’m here in Central Otago because I believe it can produce truly world-class Pinot Noir,” said Kush.

“I’m also very passionate about Alexandra.  With its unique soils and being a cooler corner of Central Otago, it can produce the best the region has to offer.

“There is a lot of excitement about what is happening here. I joined the team because Shaky Bridge has some of the best vineyards in the region, and I believe them to be one of the Grand Cru producers in the area.

“My vision is to enhance the quality further while still providing great value, opening our doors to visitors, and championing our wines and the region’s wines to key markets globally.”

Shaky Bridge takes its name from a historic bridge in the region and the location of its home block vineyard in Alexandra, New Zealand. It has been producing wine in Central Otago since 1980.

The winery is located in Alexandra right along the Otago Central Rail Trail and will welcome guests to their winery and restaurant/event space this upcoming year.


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