Clive Dougall is the co-founder and winemaker at organic winery, Deep Down Wines.
Dougall’s initial taste for the grape began in his late teens when he started working at Fullers Brewery in London. He soon transitioned to working in a wine shop and was seduced by the idea of becoming a winemaker. Moving to New Zealand to study Viticulture and Oenology at Lincoln University, has worked as a winemaker at Pegasus Bay.
“Somehow, I knew I would always be working in wine from the age of 18,” explained Dougall.
“I then got promoted to manage my own wine shop in London, which I absolutely loved, and one day a winemaker came into the shop to say thanks for selling so much of his wine.”
“Something went off in my brain that day, and I decided that was it. I was going to become a winemaker myself.”
At Deep Down, Dougall is dedicated to making the most honest and authentic expression of the land and vintage by removing as many chemical additions as possible. The winery focuses on Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc and strongly prefers vineyards with fine silty clay soils.
Dougall’s idiosyncratic approach to winemaking is his aim to provide transparency to the wine industry by being unequivocal about the ingredients used. Sustainability is also a key part of Deep Down’s philosophy and practices.
Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Deep Down has fortunately managed to remain successful, with 85 percent of its wine being exported. Dougall credits his mentor Mat Donaldson from Pegasus Bay, with influencing his winemaking and teaching him to trust his intuition.
Dougall’s goal for the future is to build a wine business that is true to itself and raise wine etiquette in all of us, to make people question the ingredients and growing methods of the wine they choose. He also hopes that his business will be able to support two families one day.
Clive Dougall is a winemaker devoted to making the best possible expression of the land and vintage. His approach to winemaking, which emphasises transparency and sustainability, sets him apart and makes Deep Down a winery to watch.