Jurassic star to wine and dine the ladies on Irish tour

You can’t promote your own award-winning wine in Ireland without including a visit to Cork.

Hollywood star and vineyard owner Sam Neill has agreed to talk to some of Leeside’s leading businesswomen about his Two Paddocks winery and his love of wine-making at a special event this week.

The star of blockbusters including Jurassic Park, The Piano, The Horse Whisperer, and The Hunt For Red October has battled dinosaurs and helped a defecting Russian submarine captain dodge torpedoes.

But Network Cork president Rebecca Birchall joked that he is a brave man to venture into a room full of almost 100 businesswomen on Wednesday.

“We are really looking forward to giving him a great Cork welcome, learning about his own unique business story, and sampling some beautiful wines in the company of the vineyard owner — who just happens to be a Hollywood A-list actor,” she said.

Neill, 65, who was born in Omagh before moving to New Zealand at age 7 bought the Two Paddocks vineyard in Central Otago, in the south of New Zealand, in 1993.

Today, it produces one of the country’s finest pinot noirs, as well as riesling.

Neill, who holds an Irish passport, is promoting the range this week. He visited his ancestral home in Tyrone, and Dublin, and will speak in Cork on Wednesday, alongside HenParty.ie founder Kate Hyde.

Hyde, who ran the website from her bedroom, pitched her idea on Dragons’ Den in 2009 and secured investment from Gavin Duffy and Niall O‘Farrell.

It is now Ireland’s largest hen and stag party business, employing five people, with plans to hire two more.

Neill, who is in Cork thanks to Curious Wines, the exclusive stockists of his wines in the region, will also be at the Cornstore restaurant on Thursday at around 1pm to help diners pair one of his wines with their lunch.

Network Cork’s event at the Cork International Airport Hotel is free for members, and €25 for guests. Places are limited and booking is essential.

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