Our mission is simple – introduce you to our favorite, small production New Zealand wines in the hope that they'll become your favorites too.
The maiden voyage
Like so many other adventures, New Zealand Wine Navigator began with friends, family, and a few excellent bottles of wine. Graham Painter, Founder and CEO, was visiting family in the States and was sent out to fetch a nice wine for dinner. Wanting to show off some of the outstanding wines New Zealand has to offer, he went from one wine store to the next searching for something special; beyond the big-name Sauvignon Blancs. A deep, rich Pinot Noir or Syrah perhaps. How about a superb Riesling... Surely, with the breadth of fine wines being produced in New Zealand, there was something special to be found. That search beget a mission.
America's New Zealand wine expert
Today, New Zealand Wine Navigator is America’s #1 New Zealand wine specialist, satisfying wine lovers across the United States with special, hard-to-find New Zealand wines from small, family estate producers. We ship the wine to a temperature-controlled warehouse in California ready for quick and cost-effective delivery to your home or office.
Graham (that's him with the Captain's hat on) set out to source the finest small-producer wines New Zealand has to offer. Small production, premium, family estate wines were the benchmarks. We work in partnership with our wineries to help them get their wines to the world because small, local production is the backbone of New Zealand’s economy.
To achieve the perfect selection of wines in our portfolio, we enlisted the help of Cameron Douglas, our Master Sommelier. His carefully curated selection of premium labels from New Zealand is ready for you to drink now or cellar. If you are after exceptional wines from small out-of-the-way winemakers from a small, out-of-the-way country, you’re in the right place! Welcome.
Cameron Douglas, MS
Our resident wine expert, Cameron Douglas, is one of the most acclaimed sommeliers in the world – one of only 249 to have earned the title Master Sommelier from The Court of Master Sommeliers in England. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas and is an instructor and examiner for the MS programme both in the USA and Oceania.
An enthusiasm for all things 'wine'
Cameron travels the world as a judge and restaurant consultant, but regularly returns home to New Zealand to help us promote, in his words, “the best wines you’ve never tasted.”
With a nose for quality and a passion for discovery, he is constantly exploring our finest wineries, looking for the next great wine to recommend.
He chooses his wines fastidiously.
Firstly he looks for purity of fruit on the nose and palate. Secondly, it must be a true expression of the region it comes from. And most importantly, is it a wine he would openly share with friends?
All the wines here pass with flying colors.
Our US-based New Zealand Wine Expert
During 20+ years in the hi-tech industry, David discovered his love for wine - drinking, collecting and learning. Never much of a bookworm, when it came to reading and learning about wine however, David couldn’t get enough! This passion for wine led to a midlife career change.
David entered the Wine & Spirit Education Trust Program to continue his wine education (Currently a WSET 2, and will enter the WSET 3 shortly). David spent over two years at Total Wine & More as their top salesperson and Chief Wine Educator, teaching wine classes and running special events. In this time David became an advocate for drinking better quality wines. His philosophy – Life is too short to drink bad wine!
David enjoys drinking New Zealand (and Italian) wine from small family wineries that value the wine making process and let the fruit speak for itself. His passion is educating people about clean wine practices, help them experience the amazing taste that comes out of those practices, and find wines that truly excite them.
Our friends and partners
New Zealanders (or Kiwis as we're affectionately known) are a friendly bunch. Just as well because being a small country of only five million people at the bottom of the world means that you have to rely on friends and partners to help you get a leg up in the world. Below are some of our friends and partners who help us do what we do.