How two winemakers convinced Graham Norton to work with them

Natasha Lee

It’s hard breaking into the Hollywood scene, especially if you don’t have any acting experience.

Just ask Tim Lightbourne and Rob Cameron.

Tim, Graham and Rob. Source: Invivo Wines

The New Zealand winemakers had known each other since highschool but only decided to start a winery after a chance meeting several years later at a pub overseas.

When things eventually got up and running in 2006, the celebrity lifestyle was last thing these two mates ever thought they’d be living.

Graham is very hands on with the tasting process. Source: Invivo Wines

Enter talk-show host to the stars Graham Norton.

There’s a saying that our lives are made up of the outcome of two or three days - but for Tim it was made up of one poignant night - the night he decided to watch Graham Norton.

Very, very hands on. Source: Invivo Wines

"During the episode I noticed Graham and his guests were always drinking wine. So I called the show and asked who supplied the wine – the producer said they just bought it from a bottle shop around the corner. I asked if we could supply the wine for the show, and for four years, we did just that,” Tim told Be.

But the relationship was only just beginning.

The selection which is available at Cellarmasters. Source: Invivo Wines

Soon, like all good love affairs, Tim realised he wanted more out of the relationship and made Graham and his team an offer they couldn’t refuse - becoming a partner in the winery.

And with that the Graham Norton label was born.

The boys are quick to point out that Graham's label isn’t like other celebrity wine pairings in that Graham actually does the mixing and, of course, the tasting.

Graham always has a glass of wine behind him! Source: BBC

Tim explains: "Graham is very hands-on in the wine making process and he’s got a fantastic nose and palate. Winemakers can sometimes get too carried away, trying to create the most difficult flavours in wines, whereas Graham is very grounded and knows what he likes and doesn’t like. It's very straight forward, and it works."

Graham, who is know for his passionate charity work, donates all proceeds from sales of his wine to chairty.

What a guy!

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