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Jane Hunter inducted into Wine Hall of Fame

Jane Hunter inducted into Wine Hall of Fame image

Jane Hunter was inducted into the NZ Wine Hall of Fame at a ceremony at the 2013 Easter Wine Show Awards on Saturday night, the first women to ever have the honour.  Jane and Bob Campbell MW had their names added to an honourable list of people who have been recognised for their significant contributions to the New Zealand wine industry in terms of development and enhancement, both domestically and internationally.

“I am very honoured to be inducted into the NZ Wine Hall of Fame alongside many ‘greats’ in the NZ wine industry”, says Jane.  “My 30 years in the NZ Wine industry have at times been challenging but thoroughly enjoyable”, she says.

A highly awarded lady, Jane received an OBE in 1993 for her services to viticulture and in 1997 came further recognition with an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Massey University.   In October 2003, Jane received the inaugural Wine & Spirit Competition Women in Wine Award (UK), an international accolade recognising the contribution she has made to the wine industry in New Zealand and overseas.

In the 2009 New Year’s Honours list Jane received a CNZM (Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit) for services to the viticulture industry.  More recently Jane was recognised in the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s World Class New Zealand awards, when she received the manufacturing category of the awards which recognise New Zealanders who make an outstanding contribution to New Zealand’s economic development.

Jane has served on the Board of the Wine Institute of New Zealand and was a foundation director of the New Zealand Wine Guild, the export arm of the then Wine Institute of NZ.  She has also served on the New Zealand 2000 Task Force Board, Horticulture Research Board, NZ Trade & Enterprise Board and Plant & Food Research Board.

Jane has been Managing Director of Hunter’s Wines since 1987 and has not only led the company to outstanding local and international success as one of New Zealand’s premium wine labels but has committed herself to the wine industry in New Zealand with her passion for the industry.

Born in South Australia, where her father was a contract grape grower for BRL Hardy Jane gained a degree in Agricultural Science at the University of Adelaide. She worked in Australia and New Zealand at various jobs before she was appointed to the position of National Viticulturist for Montana Wines based in Blenheim.  At a crucial time for New Zealand’s fledgling wine industry, Jane was in charge of all Montana’s vineyards, setting work programmes for the managers, organising research and development and liaising with contract growers.

Jane met and married Irishman Ernie Hunter in 1984, and after his untimely death in 1987 she took over running Hunter's Wines which Ernie had established in Marlborough in 1979. It was widely expected that Jane would sell up and move back to Australia, but the resolve that fuelled Jane’s decision to stay and fight for a future for Hunter’s Wines and New Zealand Wines after Ernie’s death has come to light many times since.

It is her expertise and that of the winemaking team at Hunter’s Wines, led by Chief Winemaker Gary Duke, which ensures the consistently high quality of wines produced by Hunter’s Wines and has enhanced recognition of the winery as one of world standing.


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