Winemaker out in NZ shakeup

Brent Marris (left), the embattled chief winemaker for New Zealand's Wither Hills, has resigned.

Marris's troubles began last year when he was accused of creating special batches of sauvignon blanc wine that he used in award tastings. Wither Hills, which is owned by Lion Nathan, subsequently had its New Zealand International Wine Show gold medal withdrawn. Ironically, Marris was cleared of the allegations.

Marris also resigned as a chief Air New Zealand wine competition judge in December.

Lion Nathan chief executive Rob Murray said in a statement that Marris quit to focus on his Waihopai River vineyard development and his new brand, The Ned. He said Lion Nathan will continue to produce The Ned at Wither Hills winery and distribute the brand in New Zealand and Australia.

Ben Glover (right), another Wither Hills winemaker, has been promoted to the top position.

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