James Dicey, Grape Vision Ltd & Ceres Wines, Central Otago

Born, Bred, Schooled

Born – Worcester South Africa
Bred/Schooled – Wolseley (RSA), Tolaga Bay (a real introduction to NZ – pasty honky gets his comeuppance), Katikati, Dunedin (Otago Uni – BCom/LLB), Lincoln (Grad Dip V & O).

First wine industry job

1992 - Pruning Long Gully Vineyard (now part of Mt Difficulty) for my father after University – minus 2, fog, no workmates. Brutal. Put me off for 12 years before having another crack!

First real (full time) job (outside of school/uni holidays)

Accountant with Deloitte in Dunedin – after the Long Gully experience I swore off farming!

Career Highlight

Still working towards this :) – I keep telling myself the reward is the journey!


Robin (my father) – can’t beat 40+ years of experience with a university education…

Cat? Dog?

The whole catastrophe - Rosie (very barky Huntaway with a propensity to disappear) and Bluey (uber-cool kitten who sorted the dog out in no time). Plus 5 brown shavers, 2 silkies (there were 4 – damn ferrets), a Shetland pony (called Cheeky) and shortly 2 kune-kune piglets. The good life indeed…

Desert island wine and food
Aged German Riesling and whitebait.
Dinner table companions, dead or alive 

A small group of our friends we have made around the world.

Greatest achievement

Our two kids (cliché I know but definitely the truth).

New Zealand wine industry needs...

More iconic success stories brands to hang our hats on. More focus on differentiated wines, less FMCG commodity wines. NZ has to be about adding value and not churning out dross.

If you weren't working in the wine industry in your current position,  what would you be doing?

Corporate accountant with Diageo in London (last job before the wine industry).



One thing people might be surprised to learn about you?

I drive/race my Formula Ford whenever I get a chance – solid back of the field. Part of the exclusive LOFT racing team – “Lack of F***ing Talent”.

If you had the day off tomorrow what would you like to do.
Sleep (as I write this we have been harvesting solidly for 25 days without a day off).
T:       @cereswines
FB:     Cereswines 
Web:  www.cereswines.co.nz www.grapevision.co.nz 


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