INTERNATIONAL actor turned wine maker Sam Neill will be in Portadown next Friday, October 19 for a ‘wine signing’.
The venue is the Seagoe Hotel, and the Omagh-born star of films like Jurassic Park, Omen III, The Piano and The Hunt for Red October, will be appending his signature to bottles of his finest pinot noir. Anyone with a palate for the vintages produced in his ‘Two Paddocks’ winery in Central Otago on New Zealand’s South Island is invited to go along. The signing is from 7-7.30pm.
Neill left Northern Ireland when he was seven - his New Zealander dad was an officer in the Irish Guards - and he manages to combine his hectic acting career with producing pinot noir and riesling in the world’s most southerly wine-producing region.
And he is coming to Portadown to spread his agency and sales network to the country of his birth.
Portadown wine merchants - Robb Brothers, Charles and Philip of Charlestown Road - have been selected to promote the Neill products throughout Northern Ireland. They secured it through the Cork-based ‘Curious Wines’ company which is owned by the Kane Brothers, Matthew and Mark, who network the product throughout Ireland.
Said Charles, “Sam is really looking forward to next Friday night. The main function is a winemakers’ dinner at the Seagoe where Sam will give a talk on the history of ‘Two Paddocks’ which he founded 15 years ago, and which is his pride and joy. All members of the general public are invited to go along beforehand, meet him, buy a signed bottle of wine - or a six-pack or 12-pack box (all signed) - and he will be delighted to chat about the product or about the films he has starred in over the years.”
Charles added, “He is in the UK, making another couple of films and a TV show. He is keen to meet the people, and to visit Omagh, the town of his birth (September 1947). It’s a real coup for the town and for our company. We are agents for wines like Yellow Tail (Australia), The Ned (NZ) and Farness (Italy) among many more. Sam is really proud of his vineyards, and that they’re the most southerly on earth. He even has a few vines pointing south - away from the sun in the southern hemisphere - and boasts that they have never produced a grape!
“We repeat that everyone is welcome to come along and purchase a bottle of his pinot noirs - the price is £17.99 and £24.99 for these best-quality wines.”