Project Description

Winemaking is a complex business. It takes a rare combination of talent, marketability and passion just to get in the door. To succeed? Forget it. It takes more than you can possibly imagine. There’s a reason the Greeks dedicated one whole god to it. But continued success selling wine? THAT is exceedingly rare. Pillsbury Wine Company, headed by 59 year-old Sam Pillsbury, not only produces delicious grapes and award winning wine- against all odds, they do it in the desert.

Battling misconceptions about his wine, his home and himself, Sam Pillsbury has transformed from a New Zealander film director (The Quiet Earth, Free Willy 3, Where the Red Fern Grows) to a bona fide vintner and wine star. Founded in 2006, Pillsbury Wine has skyrocketed from a small boutique aberration to a best-selling Wine Spectator-rated winery unlike any in the world.

In film, Sam was a trendsetter, shooting major productions in his native New Zealand well before the likes of his friend Peter Jackson. Continuing to buck convention in his new career, Sam planted his vineyard in the hills of Arizona, foreseeing a fertile valley ripe for world-class wines.