Welcome to the Southern Pinot Workshop 2018
The 2018 Southern Pinot Noir Workshop will be held from noon Thursday January 18th until 2pm Sunday January 21st.
We are delighted to confirm our Guest Speakers for 2018 will be Sam Tannahill and Cheryl Francis of A to Z Wineworks and Rex Hill in Oregon, USA.
Sam Tannahill was born in Virginia Beach in 1969 but grew up in San Francisco in the upper Haight with his three sisters. After misspending most of his youth with skateboards, punk rock and lacrosse sticks he left in 1987 to attend Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia where he graduated in 1991 with a BA with honors in East Asian Studies. In 1992 after living in Los Angeles working in a wine store he bought a one way ticket to Thailand and spent 9 months making it to France for a two month job picking grapes at Domaine De L’Arlot in Burgundy. Two months turned into two years and a postgraduate degree in winemaking from the University de Dijon. In 1995 he arrived in Oregon as winemaker for Archery Summit. He met his wife, Cheryl Francis in 1996 and they were married in 2000. In 2001 they started a consulting business, founded Francis Tannahill and along with Bill and Deb Hatcher in 2002 started A to Z Wineworks with a 2,500 case production of Oregon Pinot Noir. The brand grew very quickly and in 2007 they acquired REX HILL. A to Z now consists of 4 brands (A to Z, REX HILL, Francis Tannahill and Rock and Hammer) and sells wine in all 50 states and 8 international markets. In 2016 A to Z became Oregon's largest winery with a 400,000 case production and became the top selling Oregon wine brand in the United States. A to Z has also lead sustainability in the wine industry by becoming one of the few LIVE certified wineries in the world, being a founding member of the Governor’s Climate Challenge and becoming in 2014 the world’s only B Corp certified winery. A to Z has a few minority partners among which are Gregg Popovich from the San Antonio Spurs, Brett Brown of the Philadelphia 76ers and Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. In the past Sam has served on the Oregon Wine Board (Chair in 2009, 2010), the Oregon Winegrowers Association Board (President in 2009, 2010), the International Pinot Noir Celebration Board and was a member of the Governor’s GMO Task Force. He currently serves on the Willamette Valley Winery Association Board, The Oregon Wine Research Institute Board, The Oregon Business Leaders’ Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Task Force and is the Chair and President of the Oregon Business and Industry (Oregon’s largest statewide business association) and co-chair/co- founder of the Oregon Food and Beverage Leadership Council.
Cheryl is one of Oregon’s leading Winemakers with extensive experience within her home region of Oregon and also in New Zealand and Burgundy. After graduating from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR with a Biology degree she travelled throughout Europe and it was here that she discovered her passion for wine and went on to study enology in France. Returning to Oregon she secured an assistant winemaking position at Veritas Winery. Seeking more international experience Cheryl worked several harvests in NZ making life long connections and friends. Cheryl worked two consecutive vintages at Pegasus Bay Winery with experience at Domaine Rion, Burgundy for the northern hemisphere vintage in between. Returning to Oregon she became Winemaker at Chehalem Winery, as renamed by the new owners of
Veritas. Eight years as Winemaker at Chehalem gave her extensive knowledge of thevineyards of Oregon and how to make great wines. During this time she met Sam Tannahill, Winemaker at Archery Summit. It was love at first sight and they were married in 2000 by NZ’s own Grant Taylor. Sam and Cheryl launched Francis Tannahill in 2001 focused on making cult Oregon Pinot Noir. Joining forces with Deb and Bill Hatcher in 2002 they started A to Z Wineworks. This quickly became a cult brand throughout the US, making excellent winesoffering great value for money. Jancis Robinson reviewed their wines often, stating that their Pinot was one of the best in the world in its price range. The brand gained a huge following instantly. In 2007 they bought Rex Hill one of Oregon’s oldest wineries and spent 10 years converting the vineyards to Biodynamic farming. Rex Hill produces world class Pinots and A to Z now produces 400,000 cases whilst maintaining its excellent reputation. With many
award winning wines under her belt Cheryl has been a driving force behind the rebuild of a new 30 million dollar winery at the Rex Hill site. An incredible career, incredible knowledge and experience and on top of all this Cheryl and husband Sam have raised three beautiful children, Stella (9), Oliver (12) and Theo (14).
The Venue - Heritage Hanmer Springs
We are glad to return to the Heritage Hanmer Springs, with whom we have created memorable Workshops since 2002. The facilities at the hotel are excellent, and the Hurunui region provides a beautiful setting and numerous pleasurable activities. (For more information, please visit www.heritagehotels.co.nz and www.hurunui.com). Feedback from past delegates to Workshops at the Heritage has been uniformly enthusiastic. With Villa accommodation available, we encourage you to bring your family as well. We would like gratefully to recognise the wonderfully generous support of our sponsor, O-I New Zealand: their ongoing commitment makes the Workshop possible.