Winemaker – Rippon
When Nick Mills was asked to provide a DNA sample for testing, there was some confusion when the lab results came back with the words: “Rippon”, “schist” and “compost”. While it dispelled awkward questions on one front, it only served to reinforce what was always known about him: his family farm is in his blood.
Born on a massive ball of molten rock that spins around in a vacuum, Nick was raised within Rippon, a complete farm entity that exists on the eastern flanks of a zone of crustal up-thrust that has become known as Kā Tiritiri o te Moana: The Southern Alps of New Zealand.
Son of Central Otago viticulture pioneers Rolfe and Lois Mills, Nick was born around the same time as his parents’ first plantings and is part of the fourth generation on the 100-year-old family farm. As children, Nick and his siblings’ school holidays were spent selecting, planting and nurturing the vines they now tend; together, their roots have become firmly embedded in Rippon’s schist soils.
As much a product of the land as the vines and wines of Rippon themselves, Nick, since 2002, has headed the team of flora and fauna, friends and family that live and work in a very unique and distinct place.