After several years working in business management in his home country of New Zealand, Jeffrey Chilcott found his way into the hospitality world which took him from Auckland to London. After working in a hotel in London, he moved to Venice to study Italian but realized it was a more expensive and difficult endeavor than he first thought it would be. He traveled down the Adriatic coast looking for work and landed a job bartending in Rimini, which lasted for three seasons.
With each passing day in Italy his interest in Italian wine grew and he sought out opportunities with producers during harvest time, his first harvest being with a small producer in Emilia Romagna, Fattoria Paradiso. His new and growing interest in wine-making took him back home to New Zealand and he did several harvests with producers there before heading to Burgundy where he worked at Meo Camuzet and Michel Juillot and to South Africa where he worked with Bellingham Winery.
While visiting a sommelier friend at his restaurant back in Tuscany, fate took its chance. They were in the cellar under the restaurant discussing Tuscan wine when his friend took him over toa corner where he had a small collection of Piemontese wines. “These, my friend, are what I drink when given the choice!” Jeffrey was on the next train to Piemonte, first stopping atProduttori del Barbaresco with hopes that they were in need of new hands. They told him theyweren’t hiring, but he should check down the road at Marchesi di Grèsy. And, as they say, the rest is history. This was 1990 and Jeff has been there ever since.
He currently works alongside the chief winemaker as head cellarman and travels within Italyand foreign markets for the winery. He’s spent time teaching at the Slow Food University inPollenzo and is finishing a small television series focused on Piemonte and its native grape varietals. He loves to the relationships and adventures wine has led to and the many places histravels have taken him. If he wasn’t working in the wine world, he’d be working with musicsomewhere, somehow.