Sue and her late husband, Greg, came to Marlborough over 20 years ago just as the earliest wineries began forging Marlborough's stellar winemaking reputation. Living in a small cottage with their young daughter, Sue and Greg worked hard to get the brand established, an exercise in optimism, energy and resilience.
After the death of her husband in 2007, Sue stepped up to lead the family business. Her determination to continue the Whitehaven brand meant taking on responsibility for the entire family business. Sue’s zest for Whitehaven has carried the company to where it is today: a close-knit team that crafts exceptional, acclaimed wines. She is relentless about preserving the integrity of the Whitehaven name and establishing a proud, enduring legacy for the White family.
When it comes to crafting Whitehaven wines, Winemaker Sam Smail combines the precision of a scientist with the vision of an artist. After graduating with a degree in Chemistry from the University of Canterbury, Sam’s drive to combine business, travel and his scientific interests led him to complete a post-graduate degree in enology at Australia’s University of Adelaide.
That led him to some of the world’s renowned wine regions, including California’s Napa Valley and Italy. His path eventually led him back to New Zealand, where he began working at Marlborough’s Whitehaven Wines in 2000. As Senior Winemaker, Sam’s skills ensure that Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc continues to express the intense aromas and flavors that have earned Marlborough its esteemed reputation.