Coming to Central Otago is a lifelong ambition for winemaker Sam Davies. With a wealth of winemaking experience collected from some of the world’s great wine regions, he has found his special place below Mount Pisa at Amisfield. Sam hails from Auckland and graduated from Lincoln University with a Bachelor of Viticulture & Oenology in 2008. Since then he has seen vintages in wineries from Waiheke to Portugal’s Alentejo and Douro regions, the Adelaide Hills, Tasmania, Victoria and Margaret River.
Making the most of Central Otago living, Sam enjoys getting up on the skifields and getting out on the lakes. Spending time with his family, playing music, good food and good company are central in Sam’s life.
Born on a wine farm in South Africa’s Western Cape , wine farming is in André’s blood. André moved to New Zealand’s South Island in search of a new life with his family, and he found just that at Amisfield. Since then André has watched his daughter grow up between the vines that he's helped plant, grow and take care of.
André has now spent over two decades growing grapes at Amisfield and finds great reward at the end of a season – knowing what a challenge each vintage was to grow through the exquisitely stark and contrasting conditions the region offers.
Adopting Central Otago and the Amisfield vineyard as his family’s home, André spends his time enjoying visits to his family’s crib on the Dunedin coast.
Vaughan’s love of cooking was inherited through his mother, who trained him to bake before he could even see over the counter. After beginning his career in some of Auckland’s top restaurants, Vaughan spent a decade building his experience at some of the best restaurants in the world.
Vaughan is passionate about sourcing quality New Zealand produce. In the kitchen, his elegant dishes complement the variety of Amisfield wines, and he loves nothing more than the excitement each lunch or dinner service brings.
Out of the kitchen, Vaughan spends time with his family, or can be found hunting, fishing, and foraging for native New Zealand foods.
Olivia’s love for travel landed her in the hospitality industry. Through her 20s, Olivia worked in fine dining restaurants from Perth, to London, the USA, and Europe and everywhere in between. After moving back to New Zealand she took up a part time job at Amisfield’s Cellar Door for a season of skiing. Years later and Olivia has worked her way through five official job titles at Amisfield and has definitely found her niche doing something she loves.
When she’s not working, Olivia is found walking around the beautiful lakes of Queenstown, chatting the night away with friends and family and always looking for opportunities to travel.
Ben is a born and bred Wellingtonian. He started as cellar hand at Amisfield shortly after arriving in Central Otago in 2014.
Ben’s fascination with grapes began in the Beaujolais region of France in 2009 where he worked with a small family-run Domaine. He returned to NZ with a new love for grapes and wine. He hit the books and completed a Post-Graduate Diploma in Winemaking and Viticulture at Lincoln University, Canterbury. He loves working with Pinot Noir and has a soft spot for Riesling. He loves the buzz and dynamism of harvest but the most rewarding part is sharing Amisfield wines with family and friends.
Ben lives in Wanaka with his wife Lucy, son Louie and daughter Zoe. He loves the beauty of Central Otago, splashing in the lake in Summer and hitting the slopes in Winter.
Vineyard Operations Manager
George started his career with an Apprenticeship in Horticulture at Dunedin Botanic Garden. His passion for plants and the outdoors led to further education at Lincoln University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Viticulture and Oenology in 2013. After working harvests in Marlborough, Wairarapa, Central Otago and two seasons in Germany he returned to settle in Central Otago.
George started with Amisfield in 2018 drawn by the opportunity of working for an industry leading organic producer of premium Pinot Noir. He loves the challenges of the Central Otago climate and our incredible site under the Pisa Range. Outside of viticulture George loves spending time in to his garden in rural Central Otago with family, friends and Lucy the wild Labrador x GSP.
Wine Club & Direct Sales Manager
Somewhat of an intrepid traveller, Lauren arrived in Central Otago all thanks to a sale on airfares and has been with Amisfield ever since (not including a sabbatical to the UK).
Hailing from a prominent wine region in Australia, Lauren has been involved in wine since her first part-time job at the Brown Brothers Cellar Door in Milawa, Victoria. Only when she landed in Queenstown did she understand the locals’ obsession for Pinot Noir. Lauren takes great pride in educating people on all things Amisfield and (now) her favourite tipple Pinot Noir.
Away from the winery, Lauren can be found with friends who are more like family, soaking up the sunshine on a bluebird day up the mountain.
Cellar Door Manager
Originally from France, Natacha has always been a travel lover and planned what was supposed to be an around-the-world trip in 2012. Long story short, New Zealand was the first stop, but quickly became the last one. With a mixed background in International Business and Hospitality, Natacha has worked with a few Central Otago winery superstars over the years and loves to share her passion for those great wines that the region produces.
Away from the winery, Natacha likes to keep herself busy so you might find her dancing to some Latin music, hiking up a mountain in search of the best views of Central Otago or enjoying one of the many dining experiences that Queenstown has to offer.