Leadership Team

PATSY BASS
FOUNDER AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Patsy was born in Reefton and has always enjoyed the simplicity of life on the West Coast.

Her love of the region has been a constant and when Patsy’s work as a project manager saw her return home, she began to look for ways that she could contribute to the revitalisation of her home town. Having spent her early years living on the site of the Westland Brewery, establishing a distillery was a natural step. 

GARETH MCGRAIL
GENERAL MANAGER SALES

Gareth brings 20+ years’ experience in sales and general management roles with multi category, blue chip companies, as well as entrepreneurial SME’s in the alcoholic beverage sector.  Gareth has worked across the Diageo, Pernod Ricard and many other luxury spirit portfolios.  He leads our sales and brand ambassador teams within New Zealand and internationally.

YORK SPENCER
GENERAL MANAGER BRAND

Recently returned to New Zealand, York brings extensive marketing, business development and operations experience to the team, having held global Marketing Director and Country Management roles.  Most recently York was Senior Vice President Operations for a large international alcoholic beverage company.  York’s responsibility includes our guest experience, brand and digital strategy, communications and event teams.

WENDY THOMPSON
FINANCE MANAGER

Wendy is a Chartered Accountant with a strong background in accounting and finance disciplines, including roles in Chartered Accountancy firms, the private sector, and Local Government. Wendy leads the financial processing, budgeting, and reporting functions.

Wendy has lived in Buller for 12 years and is enjoying the opportunity to live and work in Reefton.

LISA DENSEM
PRODUCTION MANAGER

Lisa has a background in Office Management and Health & Safety, for large companies such as OceanaGold and more recently as Sales and Operations Planner for Westland Milk.  Lisa oversees production at the distillery and has been making efficiencies throughout our processes and supply chain. A Reefton local, Lisa lives on her lifestyle property with her husband and daughter.

SOMASHINI ROSE
ADMINISTRATION MANAGER

Somashini enjoys immersing herself in the history and heritage of the region and exploring the outdoors.  Born in South Africa, Somashini moved to New Zealand at the age of 12.  With a wide range of experience in both the private and public sectors, Somashini ensures the smooth running of the office.

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.