Johanneshof Cellars was established in 1991 by two winemakers from opposite parts of the globe. Warwick Foley from New Zealand and German friend Edel Everling combined their European wine tradition with modern technology and founded one of Marlborough's pioneering artisan wineries. In 2020 Johanneshof can look back on 30 years of crafting exceptional wines in a unique place.
Edel Everling M.Sc. Viticulture & Oenology
Edel grew up in Ruedesheim am Rhein, which is situated on the Rhine and part of the world famous winegrowing area Rheingau in Germany. This area is dominated by Riesling, but growing other aromatics and Pinot Noir as well.
Edel grew up in a winemaking family and can trace back five generations of winemakers on both sides of her family with her parents and grandparents growing and making wine in Rheingau and previous to that - like generations before them - around Bohemian areas across the border from Vienna, now in Slowakia.
From an early age Edel was helping in the vineyards overlooking the river Rhine where vines grow on the steepest slopes imaginable. This stood her well when meeting Warwick in New Zealand who had established Marlborough's first steep hillside vineyard in 1977.
Before the two went into business together Edel continued her travels around Australasia for more than a year and finished her degree in viticulture and oenology at Geisenheim University in Germany.
Working at the world renown Wine Research Institute of Geisenheim in the Department of Grape Breeding and Grafting under the leadership of well-respected wine scientist Prof. Dr. Helmut Becker, gave her an in depth insight into growing vines and crafting wines from a scientific angle, while working in different size wineries and a distillery set Edel up for creating her own wines on the other side of the world.
" Foley’s winemaking philosophy is refreshing and remarkably real; quite genius in its simplicity: great wines are born as a result of great effort; greatness isn’t a given, it is earned."
Warwick, a fifth generation New Zealander grew up on the property that he and Edel later established Johanneshof Cellars on.
As a teenager his parents encouraged him to follow his dream and plant one of the first vineyards in Marlborough on their land in 1977, just four years after the first commercial grapes had been introduced to Marlborough.
The vineyard at Koromiko consisted of mainly Riesling and some different varieties, and was replanted entirely with Pinot Noir. Named "Maybern Vineyard" after Warwick's parents May and Bernhard it was one of the first vineyards in Marlborough and the first vineyard in Marlborough planted on a steep hillside.
To learn about winemaking Warwick ventured north to work at NZ's first wine research station in Te Kauwhata near Hamilton where he met Edel in the early 1980s.
Taking up viticulture and winemaking training in Germany led him to work in renown wineries in Rheingau and Baden for the following five years.
While attending Geisenheim University as a guest student he took the opportunity to subsidise his studies by working as an English tour guide at the famous winery and cellar of Schloss Johannisberg and as steward at one of the world's most famous wine auctions in Kloster Eberbach in Eltville, both in Rheingau.
Warwick and Edel took every opportunity to visit most of Europe's wine growing areas and have a deep admiration for the culture and tradition of these millennia old wine growing areas.