Born and bred in Marlborough, Ben was introduced to wine when his family converted their dairy farm to vines when he was just 13. That move set his future in stone, as he went on to graduate from Canterbury University with a Marketing degree and then a Post Graduate degree in Oenology from Lincoln University. His selection as the New Zealand representative scholar for the inaugural Len Evans tutorial in 2001 gained Ben immense insight and resource for his future endeavours.
After an exponential ride of fifteen vintages with Wither Hills, in 2012 Ben started with Accolade Wines as Group Winemaker, leading the winemaking team.
Chair of the Pinot Noir 2017 Celebration, to be held in Wellington in January, the event is set to attract over 600 global pinotfiles. Ben is also Chair of the Bragato Wine Competition; and was previously a board member for Wine Marlborough. Ben has over 17 years of wine show judging, something that is testament to his dedication and craft - both as a winemaker and as an appreciative wine drinker.
“I am drawn to Pinot Noir on multiple levels. It is ethereal, evocative; it is expressive of its place, with cerebral effortlessness. Pinot has the x-factor but with subtlety. It is not about being big, but just about quietly achieving what it set out to achieve”, says Ben.