What inspired you to start your business?
My family and I live on our 5 ha property, 4 ha of which is vineyard. We’ve owned the vineyard since 1995 and have lived on the property for the last 18 years, building our home, garden and developing the winery. I’ve been involved in the wine industry for all of that time, In 2008, after 3 years time out with our young family, I decided I’d like to get back into winemaking again, but on my own terms. I needed something challenging, that I loved and that I could work around family and with family.
Tell us about your business?
When I first made the 2008 wines (in a neighbouring winery) I didn’t even have a name for my brand.
My son was, at the time was learning Te Reo at the local Waipara primary school. I had been gushing about the beauty of the vineyard and the view over the vines up the Waipara Valley when he consulted his text book and stated that Ataahua was the word for beautiful, or place or thing of beauty.
So, the name of the wine was decided then and there – Ataahua Wine
In December 2008 I launched my business with my 2008 Gewurztraminer!
This was the beginning of Ataahua Wine!
The wine industry is something that has always fascinated me. While I grew up on a remote sheep and beef farm in Marlborough, I always loved to grow and make things. I have an Honours degree from Lincoln University – in genetics and animal breeding and though not directly related to wine, the knowledge of chemistry, geology, biology and physics have been invaluable.
So why wine? There are so many great reasons beyond the obvious:
*it is a pleasure, and a challenge to make
*wine is so expressive of the land, the climate the variety, the season and of course the maker
*every year there is something new, a new challenge, a new market, a new opportunity
*this business gives so much variety to my day, my week, my year.
*my business model involves slow and sustainable growth that I can moniter and manage around the changing needs of my family
*wine in moderation is a health tonic
What do you love about running your business?
While Ataahua Wine is my business, my wonderfully supportive family have played integral roles along the way – from my long suffering husband and his “consumer’s tasting palate”, my son’s inspiration for the name Ataahua and his hours mowing the vineyard, plus the help of my two gorgeous daughters for their hand in harvesting, pouring for guests and their unending belief in me.
One of the main aims for my business was for it to start small and grow very slowly at a sustainable rate – working around my growing family’s needs. Family life: work life balance is paramount for me and it has been a juggle to say the least to make work well.
My philosophy in growing grapes and making wine is to produce a range of delicious wines that people can ultimately enjoy. I cannot attempt to produce the cheapest wine but I aim to produce the best well priced, high quality, unique and individual wines. Our vineyard is managed and wines made organically.
What growth have you experienced being in Venus?
My target market – broadly – is wine lovers and wine enthusiasts who like to taste and enjoy unique high quality wine. Obviously purchasers must be over 18 years of age but I do tend to target the thinking consumer, with a sense of humour – less the quaffer or the young RTD drinkers.
Recent statistics have shown 69% of my customers are female and 80% aged between 35-56yrs. Reflecting the benefit of the Venus network.
I am targeting mature professional people with sufficient income to purchase good quality wine on a regular basis, have an interest in wine and especially wines to match with food! Attention wine lovers.