Bill & Claudia Small

New Zealand





Bill & Claudia's Wines

Talented husband and wife team who have set-up shop with the support of 1000s of Angels

    • 10 years ago, Bill was stuck working for a huge industrial-scale winery. His heart used to ache as he saw some of Marlborough’s best grapes being blended into dull supermarket copycat wines.
    • That was until Angel funding freed him from the drudgery of spreadsheets. Bill and his wife Claudia went it alone, and 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, and their wines are ridiculously good.

Map of the Vineyard

Bill'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

Archangels are our most interactive customers. They know our wines inside out and help us discover new wines for the site!

Andy McGonegal
9,364 Posts • 9,925 Likes • 303 Followers

Wine has figured in my life since as a 16yr old, I became ill on a bottle of my father's German wine back in the late '70s. Fortunately, I managed to convince my brain that this was an unfortunate incident and not necessarily the case when drinking all wines; the cure, a dose of the contemporary alcopop Lambrusco. <br />Since then, I've become ever more fascinated with wines as the tremendous wealth of offerings has spread to encompass much of the World. Being a Yorkshireman by birth with Scots genes also, has compelled me to constantly seek value for money. Although I'm interested in wines prestigious and humble, I tend to invest in the former and seek out the latter that are capable of offering characteristics of greatness for my consumption. Since joining Naked Wines, I've been impressed with the overall standard of the offerings that have generally been good, some very good and excellent with few that have disappointed. Moreover, I really enjoy the feedback system that I think has long been lacking in the wine world; we can all access the views of prominent tasters for some wines, but the appeal here is that one can share views with a range of down-to-earth fellow wine enthusiasts.<br />My favoured producing regions tend to be Argentina, Chile and South Africa. That's simply because they seem to have reliably offered excellent VFM over the years. I am however, keen to try new wines and am fortunate to have a pretty good memory for keynote wines that really delivered an experience.<br />Happy drinking to you all; please note that I've recently been promoted to Archangel and would be delighted to help anyone with queries if possible.

Barry Wright
15,048 Posts • 9,664 Likes • 313 Followers

Jenny Wells
4,437 Posts • 4,546 Likes • 202 Followers