Bill & Claudia Small

New Zealand

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

  • Bill & Claudia embody the down to earth, family spirit that has driven Naked from the get go! They love the opportunity to create wines they want to make without the compromises of working for a big corporation or the struggle of being too small.
  • Truthful and fun feedback from real people around the world drinking their lovingly crafted wines is a huge thrill for the pair. The speed of Angel reviews allows them to tailor each vintage or hone in on little gold dust discoveries along the way.
  • Their passionate work ethic combined with Angel backing has allowed the pair to become their own bosses; vital when balancing their vineyard & family time.

Video of Bill & Claudia

Map of Bill & Claudia's vineyard

Bill's Story

 Award-winning winemakers challenged by us to make the best Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough

A fun loving husband and wife team who let nothing compromise their wines

Finally getting the opportunity to make their own wines because of Naked Angel funding

 

"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 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
       planned

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!

Kim Hogarth

223 Posts • 170 Likes • 56 Followers

Malcolm McGrath

1316 Posts • 1,515 Likes • 136 Followers

Heidi Parlett

353 Posts • 333 Likes • 54 Followers

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