When it comes to professional wine people, Ben Glover is about as top-of-the-tree as it gets, in this country anyway. He has ‘Chief Winemaker’ and ‘Director of Winemaking’ titles from internationally acclaimed brands such as Wither Hills, Lindauer, Huntaway and Corbans on his resumé, and was most recently Group Winemaker for Accolade New Zealand, sourcing fruit from Hawke’s Bay, Waipara, Marlborough and Central Otago for brands such as Mud House. In 2016 he made the decision to leave his day job, to go live with the family wine brand, Zephyr.
Ben is a past Wine Marlborough committee member, chair of the Bragato Wine Show (New Zealand’s only single vineyard wine show) and was chair of Pinot Noir 2017 New Zealand, the world’s largest and most prestigious pinot noir event, held every four years in Wellington.
He was an inaugural Len Evans scholar in 2001 and has over 25 years of experience as a national and international wine judge, testimony to his dedication to quality wine – both as a winemaker and as an appreciative wine drinker.
Susie is Ben’s wife. Bless her. She’s joined the Zephyr team in the back room, in between her day job of school teaching. For 25 years she’s been Ben’s wine taster and number one supporter in his winemaking, judging and raconteuring. She ensures he eats well, exercises, has at least one alcohol-free day per week, and of course makes sure he is totally involved in bringing up their four free-range children. Being behind a desk is a new habitat for Susie, being so active, so she’s itching to spend more time outdoors in the vineyard or engage her skills as a tour guide, showing Zephyr guests the sights, sounds and smells of Marlborough.
Jack, the youngest of the Glover siblings, is nine years junior to Ben. He was the only one of the four Glover children to grow up alongside the grapevines, witnessing the first vine plantings. This encouraged him to chase a wine career via a wine marketing degree at the University of Adelaide in Australia. He then worked vintage in the Napa Valley and spent six years immersed in New Zealand’s on-premise luxury wine and spirits trade scene. Jack is now general manager for Accolade Wines, New Zealand. He’s also an international wine judge, and a stage two Master of Wine student. Jack is an owner and director of Zephyr wines, spending many hours around the kitchen table planning and tasting wine. Jack snowboards and still plays competitive rugby and cricket, along with keeping a close eye on his two children, Angus and Amelia.
Her official title is “Sales and Spare Parts Manager”, which essentially means Trish gets stuff done. Her degree in English Literature and Journalism means that you’ll be hard pressed to find an errant comma or out-of-place apostrophe anywhere in Zephyr’s paperwork. Her sentence structure is always excellent and she gets her facts straight. She began writing a novel, but that was 15 years before the wild and woolly worlds of PR and wine took over her hopes and dreams. She’s determined to finish it before the decade is out however.
Over the years, Francis has been referred to by the family as; the son-in-law, the brother-in-law, the inlaw, the outlaw, the Irish man and the quiet man. This former Investment Banker and Economics Teacher is now referred to as the Zephyr “bag carrier” since he joined the Zephyr team in the back office crunching the numbers. Francis now advises Ben on where to drive the Zephyr business next and when to change gear, speed up, and slow down. Francis hails from Galway, Ireland and is married to Ben’s sister Lucy. He holds a degree in business, a post-grad in finance and is currently studying wine and viticulture. Francis brings a wealth of experience to the business from his days as a financial analyst in London. Lucy and Francis, and their two boys Jack and Sam, recently swapped their life in the U.K. for life in NZ and they now live on the family vineyard amongst the vines.
Francis’s favourite sip
Zephyr Pinot Noir, the quiet achiever in the business!
Owen & Wendy
Owen and Wendy met at the bar of a local Blenheim watering hole in the late 60s. They married and settled on the family dairy farm before having four children, two you read more about here. When they’re not out on the family vineyard, they spend their time supporting their 11 grandchildren at sporting fixtures, cycling holidays overseas, fishing and relaxing in the Marlborough Sounds aboard their boat Seastheday. They love food and wine, the theatre and bickering at each other about the whereabouts of the TV remote and whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher.
Today Owen is still running all the family vineyards. He makes sure the grapes are in pristine condition, critical to deliver a Zephyr experience.
Nikky’s favourite mode of transport is not by vehicle, but by horse. A third generation Dressage competitor, who’s father was a “Master of Riding” – a far cry from the Masters of Wine she now deals with. Nikky’s role is often double parked, changing lanes between domestic and international logistics and administration. When she is not at work, she is coordinating two wonderful children; Annelisese and Connor along with her husband Mike.
Don’t mind her slight Californian twang, the only thing mildly American about Nikky is her love for big Utes, but that is because she often has a horse float towing behind her. She is actually a kiwi, but was in the USA for 14 years of her life.
Nikky’s favourite sip Sauvignon Blanc, the ultimate Summer patio pounder!