Mike fell in love with wine whilst working as a sommelier in New Zealand during the mid 1980s. He soon decided his calling was in the vineyards however, and rolled up his sleeves for several vintages at various estates around Australia in the premium Barossa, Yarra, Coonawarra and Hunter regions. He consolidated this practical experience with a bachelor of applied science (wine science) at Roseworthy Agricultural College.
Returning to New Zealand in 1993, Mike worked for various producers gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience of growing premium wine grapes of various varietals and styles.
In 2002 a step up beckoned and Mike joined Blake Family Vineyards, based on Gimblett Road in Hawke's Bay, as Director of Viticulture. During his tenure at the estate the wines won a number of trophies.
Mike arrived at Nautilus in August 2006 taking the role of Viticulturist, turning his attention from the premium Bordeaux blends he had focused on further north, to the different climate and terroir of Marlborough with its focus on aromatic whites and premium Pinot Noir. Attracted by the diversity and quality focus of Nautilus Estate’s vineyard holdings, Mike is intent on capturing the different expressions of each parcel in each different season, allowing the winemaking team to produce wines that are distinctly Marlborough in character, and with their own Nautilus Estate textural expression.