Sam Neill is an actor who has frequented the large and small screens alike from blockbusters like Jurassic Park, The Piano and recently How to Hunt the Wilderpeople.
But it’s not his acting skills that we are honing in on! New Zealander, Sam decided to invest the money he has made from these admirably steady stream of roles into fields of grapes - vineyards!
This passion for alcohol is not one that was made on a whim. His father, following a career in the army took over the family liquor business that specialised in Beehive brandy imported from France and family members generations back imported Sicilian wine - alcohol is in his blood!
Sam’s first venture into vineyard ownership was planting five acres of Pinot Noir in Gibbston. This is known as The First Paddock and was bought in 1993 and he claims it is the world’s southernmost vineyard!
Six years later he purchased another seven-acre plot, which supplies the Proprietor’s Reserve bottling called The Last Chance after the Alexandra subregion’s gold-mining past. Neill is immensely proud of the fact that the spicy single-vineyard Last Chance 2012 won a trophy in the International Wine Challenge.
His final purchase was a vineyard in Bannockburn. The Pinot Noir from this vineyard is destined for his third Proprietor’s Reserve bottling, one named after his dad, The Fusilier. The very polished 2014, which we have in stock, is the first vintage from this mature 15-acre vineyard.