Neil was born and raised in Bristol, England. Trained as a chef, he moved into winemaking with stints with John Munch at Adelaida Cellars and Ken Volk at Wild Horse. At Adelaida, Neil met Robert Haas and the Perrins of Château de Beaucastel when they were just beginning the search for Tablas Creek. Neil was so intrigued by the project that he offered his services, and spent a year working and learning at Château de Beaucastel.
Before the year was finished, Neil was offered the winemaker position at Tablas Creek, and he has overseen both the organic vineyard and the winery since 1998. His philosophy is that great wines can only come from great grapes, and that the art of winemaking is founded on starting out with the very best grapes and bringing their juice through fermentation as naturally as possible.
In addition to his work at Tablas Creek, Neil is the mind behind Lone Madrone winery, which he runs with his sister Jackie and his wife Marci. Outside of the world of wine, he also created and runs Bristol's Cider and Bristol's Cider House, to honor the long cider tradition of south-west England, where he grew up.
Neil was named San Luis Obispo County Winemaker of the Year in 2013, and Paso Robles Wine Country Wine Industry Person of the Year in 2019.