Mission Hill Family Estate, Okanagan Valley, Canada
I worked as a winemaker at this leading winery in Canada.
My responsibilities included Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Viognier, Syrah and Vidal icewine. One of the challenges in the Okanagan is to grow balanced, ripe grapes during the short but surprisingly warm growing season. Overall I was responsible for around 2 million litres of wine per year and enjoyed trying to get the best out of every grape.
During my time at Mission Hill the winemaking team received numerous awards, medals and trophies including a “Decanter Trophy”, “Winery of the Year”, “Canadian Producer of the Year” and “Best Wine from British Columbia”.
Celler Alimara, Terra Alta, Spain
Celler Alimara is a boutique wine producer located in southern Catalunya.
I’ve been involved with this project since the first harvest in 2016. Working closely with the owners the rôle has really been a bit of everything. Vineyard assessments and deciding when to pick. Looking for 3rd party grapes to supplement our own vineyards. Discussing wine styles with the owners and implementing a strategy in the winery to achieve these. Hands-on cellar work, loading trucks, bottling, endless paperwork in Spanish and Catalan, finding distribution and sales – anything to get the job done.
One of the aspects I most enjoy is showing our wines at fairs, as shown here at Cambrils.
Celler Alimara wines have enjoyed a favourable reception since their first year, including awards such as 92 points and “Must try white” in Decanter Magazine, 9.57 points in the Guía de Vins de Catalunya and “Best wood-aged red” at the Terra Alta wine competition.
Winemaker, Codorníu Group, Spain
Codorníu is an important producer of Spanish wines, with an impressive history. I joined the group during a period of change when they had just contracted an outsider as group winemaking director. Based first at Raimat then at Bodegas Bilbaínas I worked on a number of winemaking projects and also helped run these wineries and implement a programme of modernisation.
Raimat is a large producer and I ran a night-shift here, which at its peak involved processing 100 tonnes of grapes per hour. I was also in charge of producing the first Raimat sparkling wines when that project was re-launched.
It was a pleasure to work in such an historic winery as Bodegas Bilbaínas right in the heart of Rioja. Working as winery manager I ran day to day winery operations of about 3 million litres per year and was an integral part of the winemaking team. In my first year I performed the hands-on work on a number of small-batch high-end cuvées, which subsequently went on to win a number of gold medals e.g. at DWWA and Mundus Vini.
Different Wines, Catalunya, Spain
Different Wines is a UK-based importer of Catalan wines. By closely following the local wine scene and by regular attendance at key wine fairs I am able to find, recommend and help to buy a range of wines for subsequent export to the United Kingdom.