From pouring wine to making it: Sam’s journey to Greystone

Twenty-five-year-old Sam is one of five interns travelling the world to learn about how different vineyards make wine and do vintage.  

From Hampshire, England, Sam stumbled upon Greystone while searching for a place to harvest in the Southern Hemisphere. Intrigued by our organic and regenerative practices, Sam says it was Greystone’s vineyard ferments that caught his eye the most.  

“It’s awesome to try something different, and I’m doing a lot of things for the first time.” 

But Sam wasn’t always interested in wine. Beforehand, he was serving it in pubs and bars across England.  

“I stumbled into the wine industry as I wanted to leave hospitality. The wine industry is exploding back home and it was a bit of a ‘screw it, I’ll give it a go’ decision.” 

Sam enrolled in Plumpton College to study viticulture and oenology, and the rest is history. After working a harvest at Wiston Estate in 2020, then another at the end of his studies, he knew he had made the right decision. 

As an up-and-coming and curious winemaker, Sam is giving everything a go here at Greystone. Before coming to Aotearoa, he was working at Hambledon Vineyard in England, making ‘the finest English fizz’. He says harvesting Pinot grapes is a completely different process from making sparkling wine.  

“I have made very few red wines before, and they were only made for rose assemblage. I enjoy the sorting table as it’s new to me and it’s always a good place for a chat, and the morning red rounds are certainly keeping me fit with all the plunging,” he laughs.  

His favourite part of the day is at five o’clock when the team get together and take a break before the evening shift.  

Sam says it’s the perfect way to break up the day and watch the sunset. 

“We often go out on the back pad, chat or play some table tennis.”