Driven by a love of viticulture and winemaking instilled in his teens, Brent was the first local lad to become a qualified winemaker.
In 1994 after helping Delegats Wine Estate establish the Oyster Bay brand, he founded Wither Hills and then several years later combined with his father, pioneering Marlborough viticulturist John Marris. Eight years on the brand had grown dramatically and was sold to multi-national beverage company Lion Nathan. Brent continued as managing director and chief winemaker until 2007.
Marisco Vineyards was conceived in 2003, when Brent began his search for a special vineyard property to provide a base for his next venture. This time the aim for him and his wife Rosemary, was to establish a family legacy that could be enjoyed for generations.
With the vast knowledge he built up as a youngster exploring the local area, and later as a Marlborough viticulturist and winemaker, Brent found an exceptional 268 hectare property on the banks of the Waihopai River. Flowing over three terraces formed by glacial movement approximately 20,000 years ago, these ancient fertile river beds offer flavours and structure that winemakers often dream about. Here he has planted the varieties that have won Marlborough fame the world over: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Using fruit from these vineyards, The Ned brand was launched in 2006. Named after one of the tallest peaks to the southeast of the vineyard, that he used to climb as a youngster, The Ned is a deeply personal project for Brent.