As a youngster I was horse mad and all I wanted to do was ride my ponies.

As a teenager, I wanted to represent NZ in Eventing and I am very proud to have represented NZ Pony Clubs in Great Britain travelling around the country for three weeks.

I was also selected for the Olympic Eventing long list shortly after this, (with Mark Todd), which was such a buzz, but unfortunately my horse sustained an injury which required a long recuperation which took me out of the running.

I realised that I had nowhere enough money to buy a string of horses, the land to keep them on or the truck to transport them in and that I needed to get job.  I thought I would like to do something scientific and work in a laboratory and that was where I ended up!

At Montana (now Pernod Ricard) and Rapaura Vintners, I became experienced at preparing wines, advising clients, pre and post bottling analysis and micro plating. This led me to my first role at Wineworks to set up the Lab at the fledgling Marlborough Bottling Company in January 1998.  Initially, I worked part time, juggling work around my young children (and the horses!). As the company grew so did the hours and responsibilities of my job.  I left 9 ½ years later, just as the company moved to their new site and changed their name to Wine Works.

And here I am again! On re-joining the WineWorks team, after 7 years at WineBottlers, there are still many familiar faces so I have really enjoyed catching up with everyone. I really love the opportunities that I have had to grow and develop within the company and all of this has led to me now undertaking the role as Quality Manager for the integrated site.  I am really looking forward to working with the combined Quality team to support our operational teams in ensuring the quality of our service and our customer’s product.

My passion is still riding horses, adjudicating and competing in Dressage around the country.  I have been in the NZ Dressage Development Squad for the last 3 years so I travel to Christchurch periodically, where I have been training on my current horse with an International Trainer to achieve the highest Dressage level.

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I accept this trophy happy in the knowledge that it has been bottled by Wineworks with all of the integrity that comes with that.

Alwyn Corban, Ngatarawa Wines, when accepting the Air NZ trophy for sweet wine

When we started out, Wineworks were the only company we worked with who would say “Yes”

Gabrielle Simmers, &Co Limited