Born and bred in the North East of England but now living in France, I started my wine career in California working for Ric Foreman (95 points from Robert Parker) and Charles F. Shaw. Here I made Bordeaux style Cabernet Sauvignon, Burgundy style Chardonnay and the only Californian "Beaujolais Nouveau".
In 1989 I was head hunted to go back to the UK and work at Lamberhurst Vineyards, Kent which at the time was the largest winery in England. This was from one extreme to another from having fruits with a potential alcohol of 14 to 15% in California to 8 to 9% in England. During my time at Lamberhurst I made sparkling wine (traditional method), fruit liqueurs, the first English brandy and was the first person to win an international award for an English red wine. I won the Gore-Browne Trophy twice and the Charles Laughton Trophy for Huxelrebe judged by Jilly Goolden.
6 years later I was asked to join the Hanwood Group Ltd to work as chief winemaker in Hungary and Romania. I was responsible for 4 wineries in Hungary and 2 wineries in Romania with assistant winemakers from France. Even though both countries were from Eastern Europe, they both had different challenges. Hungary having unripe fruit and Romania having antiquated and dirty wineries. I set up strict hygiene and quality control procedures. All the wine was sold to major supermarkets in the UK and won international and internal awards.
In 1999 a joint venture was set up with Wine Corp in South Africa to produce premium Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon in a winery called Watergang in Stellenbosch. During this time my skills were put to full use producing wines for Wine Corp. One of these wines, a Chenin Blanc, went on to win "The Best Chenin in the World".
At the end of 1999 Hanwood decided to build its own winery in the
Dealu Mare region of Romania, The Carpathian Winery, completed in 2000.
I personally designed and supervised the construction of the winery which is capable of producing 850,000 litres of premium white and red wine. I managed the winery (which was no easy task), made and sold internationally awarded wines, set up all quality controls including HACCP and in 2007 sold the winery for a profit! Our flagship wines were Pinot Noir and Merlot.
During this time I also audited wineries and bottling facilities
for UK supermarkets and wine importers.
The new owners are all Romanian and so changed the name to Budureasca which gets its name from the ancient archeological sites of the area.
I am still the hands on winemaker but have the additional title of technical director.
I continue with my philosophy that
"There are no compromises when it comes to quality".
Please see our latest awards.