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In 1992 Mike and Barbara set sail from Southern California on a 2 year adventure aboard a 35 foot sailing yacht named Sprig.


While we needed a change little did we know that this short sailing sabbatical would irrevocably change our lives.

Arriving in the Bay of Islands like so many visitors before us we could not believe the beauty of this magical place called New Zealand.  Determined to make New Zealand our new home we set about the tasks necessary to make that dream a reality.

In 1996 Cottle Hill Winery was created from our passion, determination, naivety, and maybe a bit of stubbornness.

Then in 2019 we picked our final vintage and made our very last wine from the grapes we had tended for 23 years.  The cellar door is now closed except by appointment. But we are still having some fun creating on a smaller scale.  So be on the look out around Christmas 2022 for our new Gin made from grape spirit and 12 secret botanicals!

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