Home' Hospitality Business : HB DEC 2016 - JAN 2017 Contents intriguing, given all the time I had spent to that point tending to
my own small far m, growing every vegetable we could think of to
make an extra dollar. Wine played absolutely no role in our lives —
I’m not even sure if I had tasted wine to that point, much less knew
where to buy a bottle.
‘You know,’ Arthur said to me, ‘there just might be more of a future
in it than driving a truck and shear ing sheep, especially over winter.’
I admitted he had a point. And then he sealed it: ‘And you’re not
enjoying what you’re doing.’ So I agreed that I should look into a job.
I didn’t know where to begin, but, as it tur ned out, Arthur took care of
that before I could.
Several years before, Arthur had worked as a stock auctioneer for
Pyne Gould Guinness (today better known as PGG Wrightson, the
agricultural supplies behemoth). One of the employees he had hired
was John Marris, a local then renowned for his youthful ambition.
While most know John for the Wither Hills winery, founded by his
son Brent in 1992 and later merged with John’s land holdings, John
came to the wine industry through Montana’s purchase of vineyard
land in the Brancott. Along with his stock agency work, John gained
real-estate qualifications shortly before Montana came calling. It was
John who helped Montana acquire the land it needed to establish its
wine empire — and it was John whom Arthur rang about finding
me a job on the vineyard.
‘Sure,’ John said to Arthur. ‘Send him round on Monday morning.
Have him drive up to the big bar n and ask for the manager on-site,
Jim Hamilton.’ It was early August, and word had it that workers were
already pulling down the fences on the newly acquired lands. I drove
out there very tentatively, and it seemed there were a million other
people there, all of whom had been promised or already allocated
jobs. I realised that it wouldn’t have mattered if Colin Meads had
placed the call in lieu of Arthur: anyone and everyone was as needed
as they were welcome.
I stepped out of my car, and began wander ing towards the bar n, in
search of Jim. I only expected to do a day’s work and earn a day’s pay.
I had no idea that showing up then and there, on that cold, blustery
day, was the decision that would change everything for me and for my
family, much less cement my place in a global industry. n
© Marlborough Man – A quintessentially Kiwi story of an accidental wine-
By Allan Scott and Eric Arnold
Published by HarperCollins, RRP $55.00
We have one copy of Marlborough Man – A
quintessentially Kiwi story of an accidental
wine-industry trailblazer by Allan Scott and
Eric Arnold to give away to lucky readers of
The Shout. For details on how to enter the
draw, visit www.facebook.co.nz/theshoutnz
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE
Marlborough is filled with amazing history and
having been a part of the original vine plantings in
1973, I thought it was important to document the
many people who had helped shape Marlborough
into the place it is today (not to mention the
entertaining antics) before it was too late.
WHY SHOULD KIWIS GO OUT AND BUY A COPY?
People who have an interest in the history of
New Zealand wine will find the establishment of
Marlborough as a region intriguing. Marlborough
would not be the successful place it is now without
good old fashioned ’Kiwi ingenuity’, especially given
the fact the master plan was somewhat flawed
being copied from a California blueprint (meaning
conditions were utterly different). I hope this book will
also show that anybody can achieve their goals if they
have the will, and not necessarily the expertise!
WHAT ARE YOUR PREDICTIONS FOR THE
FUTURE OF MARLBOROUGH WINE?
The future for Marlborough wine appears to be
very bright. There is continuing optimistic planting
in more random areas of the province which I
believe brings character and creativity to the wine,
especially as premium growing vineyard land is
now very scarce. More importantly, prospects in
most markets seem to have insatiable demand
with export prices maintaining a good return level.
In saying this, it’s also important to maintain a level
of caution moving forward as being too greedy can
lead to unfortunate problems down the line.
A WITH ALLAN SCOTT
Hospitality BUSINESS | December 2016 - January 2017 | 55
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