Travelling the country in his role as Service Engineer for New Holland Tractors, Noel Payne developed a love of country life, working with farmers but never being part of any particular piece. He started his vineyard in retirement and became one with the property he chose, his Hillside Haven. He has the temperament for growing grapes, accepting each season with a calm patience. Wines from his vineyard are like him: fine and sinewy, with a touch of grit.
"Of all the Lethbridge Pinots, this has the most colour, the sweetest fruit and richest flavour; fruit comes off a vineyard in Anakie. Floral with dark cherries and raspberries, a whisper of balsam and wood spice with poised tannins and fresh acidity to close just lacks some oomph midway. But a lovely wine." 94 points, Jane Faulkner, James Halliday Wine Companion