Hugh Crichton

Vidal Estate Winemaker

Hugh Crichton became the Vidal Estate winemaker in 2006, having worked with the Vidal Estate winemaking team in various capacities since 2004. Prior to joining Vidal Estate, Hugh had established a solid winemaking career both in New Zealand and overseas, working vintages at Chateau Soutard Grande Cru Classe in Saint Emilion France, Chard Farm in Central Otago, Donnafugata in Italy and several at Millton Vineyards in Gisborne where his inspiration for environmentally conscious and organic winemaking and viticulture was fostered. 

Winemakers bag

During his time in Europe, Hugh had the opportunity to experience many European wines, which were often more elegant in style and food friendly in nature than their New World counterparts. His exposure to some of the great wines of this style has been a key influence on his winemaking direction. Producing wines which are truly reflective of the region and vineyards where the grapes are grown is also at the core of Hugh’s winemaking philosophy.

Hugh Crichton in the barrel room

Hugh’s passion for excellence has seen him and the Vidal Estate winemaking team achieve many great award successes in recent years, including:

  • Champion Wine of Show & Champion Syrah - Spiegelau International Wine Competition 2012 (NZ)
  • Champion Sauvignon Blanc and/or Sémillon - Hawkes Bay A&P Mercedes-Benz Wine Awards 2012 (NZ)
  • Regional Trophy New Zealand Red Rhône Varietal over £10 - Decanter World Wine Awards 2012 (UK)
  • Champion Classical Red Wine - Bragato Wine Awards 2011 (NZ)
    Champion Chardonnay - Royal Easter Show Wine Awards 2011 (NZ)

Assistant Winemaker

Oliver Styles

Oliver Styles studied literature at the University of London and the Sorbonne in Paris before starting his career in wine at Decanter magazine, where he spent six formative years tasting and writing about everything from Swedish Sauvignon Blanc to Patagonian Pinot Noir.

After interviewing the late Didier Dagueneau for the magazine in 2007, he was inspired to consider a career change to winemaking. He left the post of Deputy Editor of eighteen months later and completed his first vintage in Spain in 2009.

Further vintages in Spain, France and New Zealand followed before he was lured to Hawke's Bay and the promise of working with an array of great wines at Vidal Estate.