Tuesday, 21 February 2017 12:26

Two more directors for NZWinegrowers

Written by 
Rachel Taulelei (left) and Katherine Jacobs. Rachel Taulelei (left) and Katherine Jacobs.

At the recent elections for NZWinegrowers Inc, there was a noticeable lack of female candidates.

Consequently, the 10 directors chosen by members were all males. But that gender imbalance has been somewhat countered by the appointment of two more Directors, bringing the board numbers up to 12.

The newly appointed directors are Rachel Taulelei and Katherine Jacobs.

Rachel is the CEO of Kono, which produces the brands Tohu, Rewa and Aronui. She came into the wine role with an array of experience behind her, having been the former NZTE Commissioner to the US and the founder of Yellow Brick Road.

Kono is the food and beverage arm of Wakatu Incorporation, based in the top of the South Island. All 4000 shareholders are descendants of the original 254 Maori landowning families in the Nelson, Marlborough, Golden Bay and Tasman Bay regions.

Sustainability has been a major factor in Rachel’s business history, which makes her a perfect fit for NZWinegrowers.

Her business acumen has been acknowledged with a Sir Peter Blake Leadership award in 2012 and last year her services to the food and hospitality industry were recognised when she was made Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

The issues Rachel feels strongly about within the wine industry are ensuring we maintain our premium positioning, realizing the true value of our products, opening new markets, and that the messages we share with the world are authentic.

“I’m over the moon to have an opportunity to contribute to the New Zealand wine story. I’m incredibly passionate about our primary industry and wine is one of the most sophisticated aspects of the sector. I look forward to being part of the conversation.”

Katherine Jacobs will be the only Wellington Wine Country representative on the new Board of NZW Inc, and the first regional representative for a number of years. The owner (with her husband Jeremy Corban) of Big Sky Wines in Martinborough, she brings to the table an array of skills.

In an earlier life her career was based on advertising and marketing with agencies both here in New Zealand and London. She changed career paths a little later and undertook a double major in public policy and gender studies at Victoria University. Once completed she worked for Volunteer Services Abroad (VSA), helping women in Zimbabwe, before taking on the role of marketing/fundraising Manager for VSA, Red Cross and YMCA.

Her interest in wine was totally influenced by marrying Jeremy and while living in France she decided to take that love a step further by undertaking a correspondence course in viticulture and winemaking, with EIT.

Hooked on the potential of the industry in New Zealand, the couple first began looking for land in Martinborough in the early 1990s finally finding their perfect spot in 2005, a 10 hectare block. They have worked on developing their vineyard and brand, with plenty of help from the very supportive local Martinborough community and established an enviable export market.

When asked what she would bring to the board, Jacob’s says; “I have a strategic vision. We may be small but we have a global view. Every decision we make, is purposely aimed at being the best in the world. Everything we do at a micro level aims towards that and that is a vision for all of New Zealand. There is a lot more scope for New Zealand wine in the world, and I am very excited about how we achieve that.”

The fact that as an owner operator of a premium boutique wine business, she touches every part of the business is another major advantage she believes.

Chairs announced

As well as appointing two extra directors, the new board of NZW Inc has selected the chairs for all the committees.

They are:

- Finance- Peter Holley

- Remuneration - Steve Green

- Marketing - Clive Jones

- Research - Dominic P

- Sustainability - Fabian Yukich

- Advocacy - John Clarke


More like this

» Latest Print Issues Online

Popular Reads

Organic wine – a hard sell?

While more and more New Zealand wine producers are moving towards organics, there appears to have been a distinct lack…

Fermentation in the vines

Dominic Maxwell, (Greystone Wine’s winemaker) has one goal - to make Pinot Noir that truly expresses its site.