Yes, it's New Zealand actor Sam Neill whose stellar career includes leading roles in The Piano, The Hunt For Red October, Jurassic Park and many other fine movies. The photo above is one of his vineyards, The Fusilier Paddock vineyard, situated in Bannockburn.
This is how the "Two Paddocks" story is described on their website under the title of "THE EARLY YEARS" -
"We started in 1993 with modest ambitions and first planted five acres of pinot noir at our original little vineyard at Gibbston, Central Otago in the deep south of New Zealand.
At the same time, our friend Roger Donaldson planted the land next door, hence the name Two Paddocks. (Roger's paddock proved to be a slow starter, which meant we had to go it on our own; however we kept the title. His brand, Sleeping Dogs, takes its name from the first film we made together.
I wanted to produce a good pinot noir that would, at the very least, be enjoyed by my family and friends. Frankly, my friends will pretty much drink anything, so this didn't seem too hard. To our great surprise, our first vintage in 1997 was much better than we hoped, in spite of a difficult growing season.
1998 was a more distinguished vintage, and in 1999 we were astounded to produce a pinot that was, we thought, world class. Here was a wine of considerable complexity with an amazing nose, delicious fruit and a good lengthy finish (from clones 10/5 and 5). So rewarding has this vineyard been over the years (and so unpromising as a sheep paddock) that we planted another 5 acres of Burgundian clones there in 2008 bringing the total acreage at The First Paddock, Gibbston, to 5 hectares.
Since that original release in 1997, with each successive year we have produced a pinot noir (sometimes 4 or 5 pinot noirs) that have done us proud and are, to be frank, too good to be wasted on our friends. They still somehow manage to bludge a lot off us, and that, combined with The Proprietor's generous thirst, accounts for the occasional scarcity of Two Paddocks Pinot.
In short, we have become outrageously ambitious - we want to produce year after year, the world's best pinot noir."
June 20, 2017 - NBC were in New Zealand last week and they took the opportunity to visit Sam at one of his vineyards - this is what they found.
Sam also gets a mention for a recent movie role in another of our blogs about 'Hunt for the Wilderpeople'.
You can visit the beautiful wine growing region where Sam Neill has his vineyards on many of the New Zealand Vacations itineraries, including this favorite, the 12 Day 'Heart of New Zealand'