Our People


“When I was seven I wanted to grow plants, when I was 14 I wanted to ferment fruits and by the time I was 21 I was working and studying in Europe, the old world.” - James Millton

“I grew up in my mother’s garden at ‘Opou’ her in Gisborne, surrounded by flowers and enjoying the love of growing plants and the beauty and colour they bestowed. I consider myself fortunate to be the fourth generation to care take our land and do seriously hope that our endevours will leave the terroir in an improved state for the next generation.” - Annie Millton

James Millton
James Millton has worked and trained all his life in the winegrowing industry completing relevant wine courses in Bordeaux, France and Mainz, Germany after which he spent two years working as a cellar master in the Rheinhessen district of Germany. James and his wife Annie established Millton Vineyards and Winery in 1984 and has produced certified wine from bio-dynamically grown grapes since that time.
James is one of the 10 original biodynamic winegrowers in the world and is certainly the instigator of this practice in the Southern Hemisphere.
He has been instrumental in establishing COWNZ (Certified Organic Winegrowers of New Zealand) in a bid to co-ordinate the requirements of Winegrowers New Zealand with a certifying agency. He has sat on the council of the Bio-dynamic Farming and Gardening Association for three years and he was also a senior wine judge for the Air New Zealand National Wine competition, International Chardonnay Challenge, Bragato Wine Competition and Decanter Magazine in the United Kingdom. He is involved in sabbatical work every 3 years in the wine regions of France including St. Emilion, Vouvray and the Cote de Nuits in Burgundy. .
James covers all roles within The Millton Vineyards; he is part of every process within the winegrowing business – from the vineyard, in the cellar and right through to export. For no other reason it is his desire to grow and produce the highest quality wine possible and has a tendency to prefer wine styles that compliment food, flavour and laughter more than intriguing samples on a judges bench.

Annie Millton

As small family artisan winegrowers, Annie manages the sales and marketing side of the business, yet with great passion and dedication she is involved in all aspects of the vineyards and winery. The love of her family land runs deep; growing up she tended her family’s Opou Vineyard in her school holidays, before enriching her knowledge of plants by studying horticulture at Lincoln University in Christchurch before going to London to train as a florist at one of the famous high street florists. Bitten by the wine bug, she and James enjoyed prolonged harvesting experience in the Barossa Valley in South Australia, Chorey les Beaune and Giesenheim before returning to Manutuke to replant the vineyards and establish The Millton Vineyards. Today, it is not uncommon to find her spending time offering a woman’s touch to the selection of fruit in the vineyard during harvest or feeding the hungry harvest crew. If not assisting on the labeling line in order to meet the deadline for the next international shipment or even hand-feeding the newly born calves originating from the resident manure herd. Most of the time however is keeping the office in order, the accountant in line and the bank manager happy, after all you can’t be green if you are always in the red. And when it is not family time she can be found traveling the world promoting and selling her wines. It’s a fantastic ‘life style’ as well as a demanding style of life.