Meet the team

The people who make everything possible

We feel privileged to be led by a true legend in New Zealand winemaking history. 

Grant Taylor, Winemaker

The only winemaker in the world to win the London IWSC Pinot Noir Trophy three times, Grant remains down to earth and humble, who can often be overhead describing himself as a “bush Kiwi” and a “peasant farmer”.

After graduating from Lincoln University he spent time travelling the world and practised his winemaking in Burgundy France, for Domaine Dujac, Napa Valley for Domaine Napa and in Oregon for Pine Ridge Winery. 

As a ‘flying winemaker’ Grant has worked 30 vintages in the northern hemisphere and even more than that in the southern hemisphere.

In 1993 Grant was lured back to New Zealand by the promise of plentiful trout, clean air and the potential he saw for Otago Pinot Noir.

His return home saw him become a pioneer of the Gibbston Valley wine region in Otago and he is undoubtedly one of New Zealand’s most treasured Pinot Noir producers.

We don't limit ourselves to New Zealand and have recently produced a Syrah from France

Patrick Leon, Consultant Winemaker

A Bordeaux native, Patrick worked with Baron Phillipe de Rothschild for over two decades.

As Managing Director, he oversaw vineyards and winemaking facilities for Chateau Mouton Rothschild; d’armailhac; Clerc Milon; le Petit Mouton; Aile d’Argent and Mouton Cadet in Bordeaux; Domaine de Lambert & Baron d’Arques in the Languedoc; Opus One in California and Almaviva in Chile.

Creator of some of the great wines of the world, Patrick has a lifelong dedication to the adventure that exists within our amazing industry.

Our partnership with Patrick includes the 750 bottle release of  Syrah facilitated by the Lorgeril family of Le Chateau de Pennautier.

The first year of production was 2012 which was released in 2017 after significant bottle aging.

As a non-traditional wine producer, creativity and originality are vital to our business

Jing Song, Managing Director

Jing is a mother, wine entrepreneur and the co-founder of Crown Range Cellar.

Jing became the youngest wine entrepreneur and the first New Zealand female trophy winner at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in London when she won the Trophy for Pinot Noir for the 2013 Signature Selection Pinot Noir.

She grew up in Canterbury and Central Otago among the vines, although she never went to agriculture school – instead Jing received a scholarship from KPMG and originally trained as a Chartered Accountant, something which has given her a great grounding in business operations.

Working around her accountancy training, Jing also took a degree in art and theatre. She has a passion for design, literature and wine that she feels is best expressed through the art of wine making.

Guided and encouraged by her dear family friend Grant Taylor, they co-founded Crown Range Cellar, where Jing’s vision is to create premium, fashionable, and outside-the-box wine brands.

Taking care of business in New Zealand and overseas keeps the wheels in motion.

Tom French, Sales and Marketing Manager

Tom is a wine lover, foodie and rugby nut with a degree in film and animation production.

His career started in London, working in sales and marketing roles in the film and media industries. 

As a keen traveller, life changed dramatically when adventuring through New Zealand with his partner Fiona in 2011.   

Falling in love with the scenery, the culture, the rugby and of course the wine, they decided to stay. 

They settled on Waiheke Island in 2012 and he blagged his way into the wine industry, working first for Cable Bay and then joining the team at Mudbrick.

Loving every minute of it he decided to get formerly qualified and having undertaken WSET levels 1, 2 and 3 he is now working towards the WSET diploma. Being WSET educated and passionate about sharing knowledge, Tom is also one of the founders of The Wine Academy - New Zealand, a wine school based on Waiheke Island. 

Multi-sensory tasting experiences are driving us into new realms of wine appreciation.

Jo Burzynska, Sound Artist and Multi-Sensory Explorer

As pioneers of multi-sensory wine experiences, Jo’s expertise is vitally important to the success of Crown Range Cellar.

Jo – who also performs and records under the name Stanier Black-Five – is an Australasia-based sound artist and wine writer whose work in these areas has increasingly converged in the production of multisensory art. 

As a sound/multisensory artist she has exhibited, performed and released her work around the world, while in her role as an international wine critic and judge, she has written widely read wine columns and is the author of Wine Class: All You Need to Know About Wine in New Zealand (Random House).

Jo has collaborated with us on a number of projects, most notably in the composition of a piece of music to match our flagship Signature Selection Pinot Noir.