Leadership Team

PATSY BASS
FOUNDER AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Patsy was born in Reefton and returned in 2018 after a successful career in Human Resources, Change, Project and General Management to contribute to the revitalisation of her home town.  She attributes roles with Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, Outward Bound New Zealand and some of New Zealand’s largest cooperative and not for profit organisations, with leading her back home to create a business with an intergenerational focus.

Having spent her early years living on the site of the former Westland Brewery, establishing a Distillery seemed a natural step.

GARETH MCGRAIL
GENERAL MANAGER SALES & MARKETING

Gareth brings extensive experience in sales, marketing and general management roles with multi beverage, blue chip companies, as well as entrepreneurial SME’s across the alcoholic beverage sector. Gareth has worked across the Diageo, Pernod Ricard and many other luxury spirits portfolios. He leads our sales and marketing functions globally.

ANGUS HAY
GENERAL MANAGER OPERATIONS

Born and raised in Scotland, Angus brings extensive experience in whisky and white spirits distilling and is a member of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling, UK.

An engineer with the Royal Navy before commencing his distilling career at The Glenlivet Distillery, Angus was the youngest distiller ever appointed by 14 years.  He was involved in their transition from manual to fully automated operations and has a razor eye for process and cost efficiencies.  Most recently Angus was the Master Distiller/Distillery Manager at the Burwood Distillery, Calgary, where he was engaged to establish production and NPD.

  WENDY SCHMIDT
GENERAL MANAGER FINANCE AND COMMERCIAL

Wendy brings a wealth of commercial experience in finance with corporate, Big4 and SME businesses. Wendy is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors New Zealand. She has worked across the world in banking, accountancy and advisory roles. Her most enjoyable experiences have been advising start up and fast-growth companies through their global expansion and merger/acquisition journey.

  TODD SCHMIDT
GENERAL MANAGER GUEST EXPERIENCE

With extensive experience is tourism and leadership, and a Bachelor of Commerce (Tourism) from the University of Otago, Todd leads our guest experience.  From visitors to our Cellar Door, Distillery tours, private events and a key role in the development of our new Visitor Centre and cocktail bar, Todd ensures each person who visits us leaves an enthusiastic ambassador.

  

STEFFAN AND NIGEL MACKAY
AMBASSADORS AND WATER PROSPECTORS

Steffan and Nigel are very proud of both their Scottish heritage and the culture of their home town. The twin brothers who were born and grew up in Reefton, are authorities on everything there is to know about the area, its people, and its rich history. Their ability as “water prospectors” has enabled them to find the location of local springs, assisting in the establishment of the water sources for the distillery.