Our Story

Inspired by raw, natural beauty and a blatant disregard for convention, three renegades set out with a simple idea, to make more wine than they could drink and share the rest.

The legacy of Sacred Hill kicked of back in 1986. Family, friends and wine lovers around the world soon became part of the magic.

Nick Picone

Chief Winemaker

Picone joined Sacred Hill in 2022 on the back of a long and successful career with Villa Maria Estate.

Throughout his career Picone has received numerous Winemaking awards. In 2012 he was honored with The Wine Society Young Winemaker of the Year title, which is awarded to Australasia’s top young winemaker. He was the first New Zealander to receive this prestigious accolade. Nick has had the honour of being awarded ‘New Zealand Winemaker of the Year’ or ‘Winemaker of the Show’ on ten separate occasions between 2011-2020, making him one of Australasia’s most awarded Winemakers.

Nick is highly driven to make great wine, and his passion particularly for Chardonnay compliments Sacred Hills ambition to cement the reputation of Rifleman’s vineyard amongst the finest in the country.

Jordan Robinson

Assistant Winemaker

Jordan joined Sacred Hill in 2022. She is originally from California’s central coast where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Wine and Viticulture in 2017. Since 2015, Jordan has worked in California, Oregon, Australia and both the north and south islands of New Zealand.

Jordan is ecstatic to have joined the team at Sacred Hill and lay down some roots in sunny Hawkes Bay. She is passionate about fine wine and excited to share her background and experience with the team.

Outside of work, you can find Jordan hiking around New Zealand’s majestic landscapes, spending time with friends and family over a glass of wine, baking, and tending to her home garden.

Kel Dixon

Marlborough Winemaker

Kel is passionate about Marlborough – widely celebrated as one of the premium wine regions of the world. He is responsible for Sacred Hill’s internationally acclaimed Marlborough wines and particularly loves seeing the region’s distinctive Sauvignon Blanc enjoyed and savoured worldwide.

Larissa Barrow

Winery Manager

Larissa is an integral member of our team as our Winery Manager. Her commitment and diligence is evident to anyone who meets her. She is a mother of one with a comprehensive background spanning all facets of the wine industry, from vineyard operations to winery vintages across Australia, Austria, and New Zealand, Larissa brings unparalleled expertise to her role. Her experience extends beyond the vineyards and into the lab, as well as managing sales and exports.

Armed with a degree in Viticulture and Wine Science from EIT Hawkes Bay, Larissa’s knowledge and dedication are unmatched. Her innate ability to solve problems and drive results is invaluable in a growing business like ours. Additionally, Larissa plays a pivotal role in nurturing relationships with our valued export customers.

As one of the youngest Winery Managers in the country we are very excited about the future.

Our Viticulture Team

Sacred Hill’s distinctive wines are a true expression of the vineyards they come from. Our viticulture teams in Hawke’s Bay, Martinborough, Marlborough and Central Otago explore their regional expertise and partner with our winemakers to deliver wines with distinct layers, textures and flavours.