Before director James Cameron even had a farming empire in New Zealand, actor Sam Neill was pressing grapes and making award-winning pinot noir in the South Island's Central Otago region. 

The actor, best-known for playing Dr. Alan Grant in the "Jurassic Park" franchise, started his Two Paddocks winery in 1993; with a focus on creating sustainable, ecologically sound wine. 

"We are by no means wide eyed zealots, but we do believe in healthy compost enriched soil, and good healthy wine," writes Neill on his website. "We also subscribe to the view that red wine (in moderation) is good for you, and that it should not only be of superlative quality but the healthiest wine possible."

In an effort to keep up with increasing demand from around the world, Neill recently announced that he had acquired the 15-acre Desert Heart winery. The new addition to the Two Paddocks family makes the business the only winery with a foothold in all three of Central Otago's wine-producing sub-regions.

"This is a beautifully sited vineyard, that has been tended with immense dedication and attention to detail and we could not be more delighted to include this iconic vineyard into the Two Paddocks fold,” said Neill in a statement. 

The 66-year-old says he intends to rename the new vineyard in memory of his father, who was a wine merchant and a soldier. "'I can't think of anything nicer than to grow things you really like to eat or drink and almost everything about it is so much different from my other job,'' he told the NZ Herald

Check out Neill expressing more about his love of making wine below. 

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

'Jurassic Park' actor expands his New Zealand wine empire
Sam Neill acquires a fourth winery in the heart of Central Otago on the South Island of New Zealand.