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Kirsty is the first grape grower in New Zealand licensed to grow industrial hemp, thanks to legislation passed in November 2018 allowing the seed to be grown as a food product. As well as extra income, hemp is proving to be an excellent cover crop, attracting insects and nurturing the soil.
It takes a lot of gumption to take on a vineyard and wine label that is etched into New Zealand’s wine history. But Kirsten Searle was not phased by the prestige that was associated with the name Matawhero.
Five generations stand behind Soljans Estate Winery. To celebrate the fifth generation joining the family business, Soljans have released a Fifth Generation Series Kumeu Chardonnay.
Meet Siobhan Wilson from Marisco. A passionate wine marketer, Siobhan started her career in the vineyard and transitioned into the office.
She has worked for Montana, Lion Breweries and is one of the key people responsible for making The Ned into one of New Zealand’s most popular millennial brands.
Erica Crawford is the founder and CEO of Loveblock Wine. Originally from South Africa, she is an industry legend, founder of one of New Zealand’s biggest export brands. Her career in the wine industry was quite by accident, she began working as a medical research scientist in Cape Town until she attended a wine festival and met a kiwi called Kim.
Katie, the 17-year-old vineyard hand, graduated from the New Zealand School of Winegrowing last year, the only Marlborough Girls’ College student in the first intake and a brilliant poster child for the initiative.
Originally from Oregon, Jen Parr, winemaker at Valli Vineyards, now calls Central Otago her home. Like many people in the wine industry, her career did not follow a straight path. She began in financial software sales and is now an award-winning winemaker and recent finalist in the Gourmet Traveller NZ Winemaker of the Year award.