Bill & Claudia Small
Bill & Claudia's Wines
- New Zealand
- 1 wine
- 1 style
Angel-funded husband and wife team with loads of talent
- Award-winning winemakers challenged by us to make the best Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough
- A fun loving husband and wife team who let nothing compromise their wines
- Finally getting the opportunity to make their own wines because of Angel funding
Bill & Claudia Small's Story
"Hi, I am Bill Small and I just wanted to introduce myself as one of you new winemakers. I love my life but in fact hadn't always dreamed of being in the wine trade. I actually wanted to be a vet, but my grades weren’t high enough. I applied to a do a wine making course as Plan-B and have never looked back.
When it comes to my winemaking its a family affair. My wife Claudia and I are a team. We met whilst studying wine at the University of Adelaide. Claudia is trained in viticulture and myself in wine making. Claudia nurtures the vines to ensure the perfect fruit and then I get to turn that fruit into superb wine. The only things we really need is a coffee at the start of the day, a beer at the end and plenty of jokes in between things. Its a good life!
Working in the wine trade there has never been a dull moment and its has also been a great adventure taking us to many countries. As fresh faced university graduate working in Cyprus, we travelled from village to village to talking to grape growers whose grapes we wanted to buy. The trademark Cypriot hospitality meant that I was obliged to drink up to eight coffees each morning to secure the fruit we needed.
There have also been challenges along the way as well. When making wine in France a couple of years ago, my 18 month old son broke his leg mid vintage. Two days later all our passports and travel documents we stolen from the bedroom of our gite while my wife attended to the invalid son in the lounge. We negotiated the French health system with pretty rugged French, kept the boy immobile for two weeks as per the doctor’s request and recovered our travel docs. We still made the wine without compromise.
My advice for budding winemakers would be....
'you’ve gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, know when to run.'...............oops no, that's the Gambler as sung by Kenny Rodgers.
Actually, it’s complicated mixture of
* Only doing something if there's a sound reason for doing so
* Take your time, but don’t be scared to intervene if something is not working as
I love working here in New Zealand. Most of the worlds wine regions have been around for hundreds of years - thirty years ago, Marlborough as a wine region didn’t exist and so the best vineyard sites, the best viticultural practices and the best wine making techniques are still being determined. Being a part of this is very exciting. I am very excited to be working with Nakedwines.com as well. You Naked drinkers have given me the financial support I needed to be able to make wines for myself and not just others. This is a dream come true for me and it is wonderful to just be able to focus on making the best possible wine I can and not have to spend half my time selling it. Enjoy the wines and please do let me know what you think!"
Bill & Claudia's Archangels
I learned to love wine in 2003, from my wine-loving in-laws in Germany. My favorite wine ever is Grauburgunder from my homeland. I mostly drink dry "interesting" whites and bold reds. I love indigenous grapes from less-common wine regions. I love visiting wineries in my wine-producing state. I also love champagne and cava and don't just think they're for special occasions or brunch.
In the past I would have described myself as a lover of reds. Since being involved with Naked Wines and the winemakers and other participants, I've opened my horizons and really embraced all wines and the qualities they have to offer. Knowledge is power.
I live in Missoula, Montana where I am a retired lawyer/Insurance Company CEO. I love the Naked Wine concept and the camaraderie of the host of angels and angelic winemakers I am getting to know. Good wine, great price and good friends, what more could I ask. I see NakedWines as a supersocial network with benefits;