Winemaker, Duckhorn Vineyards
In 1995, Bill returned to Hawkes Bay and joined the team at Huthlee Vineyards. Quickly making himself indispensable, Bill was soon promoted to winemaker. Bill’s talent and ambition were noticed by New Zealand’s acclaimed Bordeaux varietal pioneer Chris Pask, and in 1998 he was offered the position of assistant winemaker at C.J. Pask Winery in Hawkes Bay. There, he refined his skills, working side-by-side with Kate Radburnd, one of New Zealand’s most respected winemakers. Recognized for his leadership abilities, and his talent working with a range of varietals – including the winery’s renowned Merlot – Bill was named winemaker for C.J. Pask when Radburnd was promoted to managing director.
Intent on expanding his knowledge by working a northern hemisphere vintage with one of California’s top Merlot producers, Bill traveled to the Napa Valley in 2001 to work the harvest at Duckhorn Vineyards. When the assistant winemaker position at Duckhorn Vineyards became available prior to harvest, Bill’s extensive experience made him the ideal person to round out the winemaking team. As a result, he was put in charge of running the crews and winery operations during this exceptional vintage. Bill permanently joined Duckhorn Wine Company in February of 2003 as the winemaker for Paraduxx and the interim assistant winemaker for Duckhorn Vineyards.
Country born: New Zealand
Education: Raised in Hawkes Bay, the oldest winegrowing region in New Zealand, Bill developed an early passion for the wine industry. Formally trained in hospitality management with a focus on wine appreciation, he spent several years after graduation traveling and working throughout Africa and Europe before ending up in England, where he took a position as the harvest manager for Thorncroft Vineyards.
Years in the wine industry: 10-15 years
Balancing a comprehensive understanding of the science and chemistry of winemaking with a natural instinct for creating boldly elegant wines.