Dry Extract Interview: Nick Mills of Rippon, Central Otago, NZ

Nick Mills of Rippon Vineyard & Winery.

© Rippon

Nick Mills of Rippon Vineyard & Winery.

© Rippon

Nick Mills is the winemaker and manager of Rippon Vineyard & Winery, a 100-year-old family farm on the shores of Lake Wanaka in Central Otago, New Zealand. Nick, the son of viticulture pioneers Rolfe and Lois Mills, was born at the same time as his parents’ first plantings. He and his siblings spent their holidays selecting, planting and nurturing the vines they now tend. Since 2002, Nick has headed the team of flora and fauna, friends and family that live and work in a very unique and distinct place

The best advice I ever got

You’re not judged on your intentions, but your actions…

My life motto

Dream big, but do small things really, really well.

I am currently reading

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer.

My most played music track

Born Under Punches by Talking Heads…'cause it kicks off side one of Remain in Light – the bestest record ever!

If I didn’t do my current job I would be

Doing whatever else was going on at Rippon.

Skill I don’t currently possess but would like to have 

Restraint when rummaging in the dress-up box.

My favourite kind of exercise

Was risky stuff, but is now much more metered and meditative.

I relax while

Open-water swimming in the lake.

I collect


My essential newspaper/magazine

Powder (skiing) magazine.

My desert-island wine

White, tonic, leesy, chilled and bottomless.

I have learnt a lot from

Intensive care unit in Grenoble - I don’t ever want to go back there.

My last meal and sip will be

Hopefully be up to me, but most likely not.