Greystone team in the vineyard working

Looking to the future: Lizzy’s journey to Greystone a step in the regenerative direction

Meet Lizzy Holiman, our newest member of the Greystone team. Jumping on board for our harvest, Lizzy is excited to have finally made it to New Zealand after a two-year delay due to covid.

With a degree in agroecology and food systems and a passion for viticulture, we knew Lizzy was a perfect fit when her boss from California said she had a keen interest in regenerative agriculture.

Lizzy wearing a green beanie, standing over grapes, holding grapes in hand.
Meet Lizzy Holiman!

Before coming to Greystone, the 24-year-old spent two years working at Paicines Ranch Vineyard in the Sunshine State. Working under vineyard manager Kelly Mulville, Lizzy learned the ropes of putting regenerative principles into practice on a 24-acre vineyard trialling year-round grazing on a high trellis system. But when it came to her passion for wine, she had her parents to thank for the inspiration.

“My parents encouraged me to be curious about wine from a young age. They’d take me to the grocery store with them to help them pick out bottles – me being a kid, of course, I’d just pick the coolest label. They raised me to appreciate the cultural value of wine, including its ability to bring people together.”

“I knew at a young age I wanted to study agriculture and have a positive impact on the world with the type of farming I was doing. My priority is to make sure that wherever I am working, the practices are aligned with my ethos of wanting to do what is good for the environment.”
Although Lizzy planned to come to Aotearoa straight after she graduated, the two-year delay has been worth the wait. She says the skills she learned in California she can translate to Greystone here.

“After working at Paicines Ranch Vineyard for a couple of years, it’s clear to me that regenerative practices are the future of viticulture. I’m part of a newer generation of viticulturists and winemakers that are very open to regenerative viticulture, and I want to help expand the network of people who are aware and interested in it.”

Keen to travel the world and learn firsthand the future of wine, we’re grateful that Lizzy has stopped off here. With her international expertise in regeneration, we’ve loved getting her involved with some of our newer vineyard practices – like our Regen trial Block. Re-trunked with vines and with a canopy that’s eye-level, the Regen Block is designed to be higher off the ground so that sheep can graze under the vines all year round.

“I’ve been up there doing some sampling as we’ve been getting ready for harvest, and I’m really excited to talk to Mike and the team more about their plans – especially for when the bird protection nets come off and the sheep return after the grapes are picked.”

Not only has she joined us outdoors, but in the Cellar as well. Excited to learn more about wine, Lizzy is curious to see how regenerative practices can be applied not just to growing but to the winemaking side of the industry too. She hopes that by seeing how regeneration works for different vineyards, she can bridge the gap between people and places in the future.

“It’s about seeing what we can learn from something like this, and how we can benefit from sharing those connections both on the ground and beyond.”

Here at Greystone, we place a lot of emphasis on putting regenerative principles into action. After a month of working for us, Lizzy has found although our practices may look different to the US, the principles remain the same – and she can’t wait to learn more.

“It’s been fantastic getting to work with the people here. They’re a great team and everyone has been so welcoming and fun to work with. I’m learning a lot from them, and it makes coming to work really enjoyable.”