Michael Dollan has joined Lyme Bay Winery as Head Winemaker, a role in which he will oversee the company’s award-winning portfolio.
With over 20 vintages around the world and ten years in the French industry, Michael’s considerable knowledge will be invaluable in developing both still and sparkling English Wines.
His expertise comes from working in renowned wineries such as Cloudy Bay, Chard Farm, and Oyster Bay in his native New Zealand; Baron Rothschild de Lafite and Chapoutier in France; William Selyem in America; and forays in Australia.
This breadth of locations and organisations covers boutique as well as large-scale wineries and spans brands, cooperatives, and Négociants reflecting both Old World and New World wine traditions.
Michael has qualifications in winemaking from France as well as New Zealand. With earlier experience as a Sommelier he has spanned the multitude of disciplines necessary to produce great wines – the entire journey from the vineyard to the consumer.
With a Fine Arts degree and having worked as a professional Sculptor, Michael draws on artistic influences to guide the creation of wines with soul and style.
Michael said: “My experience of cool climate high end wine-making complements Lyme Bay perfectly. I’m excited to enter the English Wine landscape as it’s an amazing time to be involved – it truly is one of the new frontiers of wine.
“I’m particularly thrilled to work with the still and sparkling portfolio at Lyme Bay and to further develop the red wines. The Pinot Noirs produced here have fantastic potential.
“It is a dream to approach the creation of wines focused on quality, not limited by mundane restrictions and concerns.”
Lyme Bay is renowned for its production of English wine, both still and sparkling, achieving over 120 international accolades in the last five years. With 33 of these awarded in 2018 alone.
Managing Director, James Lambert, said: “Michael brings more than his considerable skills in winemaking. We were impressed with his ambition to build through a focus on quality.
“This will support out plans to further innovate and support our growing reputation for outstanding English wines.
“As the category grows, at Lyme Bay we believe it is essential that the highest possible standards are developed and maintained to build and sustain the reputation of the industry.”
Michael’s duties will also see him support Lyme Bay’s other ranges including Lyme Bay gins, meads, fruit wines and Lugger Spiced Rum.
Lyme Bay Winery is a small company situated in the West Country, near Axe Valley, producing award-winning drinks in a range of categories for different consumers.