One of New Zealand’s most respected winemakers, half of a power couple that put Waiheke on the international wine industry’s radar and helped shape the way the island is today, has died this week.
Kim Goldwater, 85, died riding a tractor on his Waiheke property on Thursday 1 September. While best known for his wine, Kim is remembered by those who knew him as a generous, hard-working perfectionist and loyal friend, father and husband, with an infectious sense of humour.
Along with his wife Jeanette, Kim Goldwater pioneered winemaking on Waiheke with the island’s first commercial vineyard – which they later gifted to Auckland University, creating a wine science centre there. The couple founded the iconic Goldwater Vineyard on the shores of Pūtiki Bay in 1978, and built the foundations of Waiheke’s international reputation for spectacular vintages in the wine industry. They were the best ambassadors Waiheke could hope for, and from the beginning they were wined and dined in the world’s best restaurants and were welcome guests in the chateaux of the Bordeaux region. At first, experts warned them Waiheke was too cold, too wet, too encrusted with sea-salt to grow good vines. But the Goldwaters and their friends were determined to prove them wrong.
• Paul Mitchell