Bill & Claudia Small
Bill & Claudia's Wines
- New Zealand
- 8 wines
- 4 styles
Talented husband and wife team who have set-up shop with the support of 1000s of Angels
- Husband and wife team Bill and Claudia went it alone thanks to Angel funding 10 years ago. Since then, they've gone on to become Naked legends.
- Using your Angel funding, the Smalls have built close relationships with grape growers ‘in the bits of Marlborough they love’ to make lovingly crafted gems from some of the best fruit going.
- With you behind them, your King and Queen of Marlborough have gone from strength to strength. You’re the reason they make some of the highest-rated Sauvignons in the whole of New Zealand. Kudos to you.
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 wine making 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 a 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 Naked Wines as well. You Naked wine 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
Since becoming ill on a bottle of my father';s 1970s German wine and learning, with the help of Lambrusco, to re-love it, wine has become a major fascination in my life. Gradually the tremendous wealth of offerings has spread to encompass much of the World. Being a Yorkshireman by birth with Scots genes also, I do appreciate value for money but am not averse to splashing out if the quality justifies it. Since joining Naked Wines, I've been impressed with the overall standard, that is generally good, often very good or excellent with few disappointments. The Naked feedback system eclipses industry rivals, offering access to tasting reviews against which users can evaluate their own preferences in order to achieve good wine matches or to enjoy exploration of new wines. Also, there is an unprecedented ability to intereact with the lovely people who invest so much love and care into making the wines. When I first joined Naked, I drank approx 95%reds:5%whites; as a result of exposure to an amazing range, I now drink 1/3whites. I have yet to develop an afinity for roses or sparklers.