Hi, I'm Debra. I have a devoted black lab called Jade and I'm passionate about making wine and more recently, Ruby Port.
I caught the eye of the winemaker at Akarua (Bannockburn) in 2000 and started my journey from there!
I had a very thorough training from the 'bottom up' through practical experience in both the vineyard and winery, culminating in formal recognition from the Eastern Institute of Technology and Massey University.
I learned very quickly that wine is a living thing and a great wine can only be achieved through hard work and attention to detail.
Since I was a young girl I have always thrived in the atmosphere of hard work and challenge. It is true what people say, “wine starts in the vineyard then needs to be nurtured and loved through every stage from the growing vines,” to the bottling of the fermented grapes, each variety and individual block is managed differently to produce the perfect wine for the boutique grower.
Living and working in a major wine area I saw the frustration of smaller producers watching their precious grapes disappearing into estate blends and only imagining what their fruits of labour could really taste like. My ambition is to help boutique growers achieve their vision by providing a high quality service for small batch wine production.
Cromwell, Central Otago, New Zealand is a long way from Tannacrieff, an ancestral Dickie farm in Ayrshire, Scotland.
But, the ideals of those early settlers (1862) were similar to Debra's: vision, industry, enthusiasm, commitment and integrity. Instead of farming, Debra is a boutique winemaker, fulfilling the dreams of smaller vineyard owners while making her own wines and port under the label of Tannacrieff. In the early 1860's several family members of the Dickie family from Tannacrieff, Tannahill and Gainhill in Ayreshire, Scotland, emigrated to the lower South Island of NZ. Debra's maternal Great Grandmother was a Dickie and she grew up on a farm near Owaka, in the Catlins, which was called Tannacrieff so it seemed fitting to be able to carry on the tradition.