Cellar Door & Marketing Manager Sarah Fix: A Rock Ferry Close Up
The Art of Adapting
It was our winemaker, Jordan Hogg, who recruited Sarah Fix as Assistant Winemaker to help with the Rock Ferry 2020 vintage unaware of the breadth of the many talents hiding before her wine industry experience.
Sarah was raised in a small (and then sleepy) United States wine region - the Columbia Gorge in Oregon. Then on a different career path, Sarah studied Theatre Arts & Arts Administration at the University of Oregon. This course covered a wide range of skills and activities from event operations and lighting design to scenic painting and creating stage props. She even painted billboard advertisements for a time! For a school term, Sarah was pleased to study an intensive theatre course in London. After completing her bachelor’s degree in 2005, it was an opportunity the following year to work at the Weta Workshop in Wellington that initially drew Sarah to New Zealand.
Having always had a love for travel, Sarah felt very much ‘at home’ in NZ and began exploring from the top of the North to the bottom of the South, working mainly in hospitality as the project at Weta was on hold. Many years later with many more visits to New Zealand, it was when she met her now husband, Scott, in Napier that she was introduced to the nomadic wine industry life. He was from California, travelling and taking on harvests world-wide. As Sarah explains, “even though I knew about wine, I wasn’t aware of these travelling vintage positions.” In 2022, Sarah has now chalked up her 10th vintage.
When the position of Cellar Door & Marketing Manager came up, Sarah was approached to take on the role. Reluctant at first, Sarah is so happy she did. The scope of the position has allowed her to utilize her event management skills as well as her winery experience.
“Connecting with the community through events became important in the last two years,” says Sarah, “especially under Covid restrictions.”
Sarah introduced the successful MANA Wine Fest in 2020 as well as the monthly Twilight Market which returned in October 2022. Regular yoga classes and workshops continue despite lockdowns and postponements. She is also organizing music events for this upcoming summer.
However, the best news for us at Rock Ferry is that Sarah and husband Scott now both have residency in NZ. The corks were certainly popping in celebration when the news came through!