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Mark Haythornthwaite had a dream whilst at university - to own his own vineyard.
Born in South Africa but growing up in Namibia (South West Africa), Mark attended high school in Grahamstown and university in Cape Town, South Africa. Qualifying as a Chemical Engineer he returned to Namibia to work until he left to commence a new career in the new computer industry.
Mark joined IBM in Johannesburg in 1968. In 1973 Mark moved with IBM to London for 3 years prior to immigrating to New Zealand with IBM at the beginning of 1976. His dream continued to intrigue him - the opportunity to take early retirement and redundancy from IBM at the end of 1991, enabled him to follow his dream.
Purchasing two sheep paddocks totalling 13 acres, Mark planted a vineyard in the middle of the " Martinborough Terraces". His dream was on its way. Planting a vineyard from the beginning was the challenge Mark needed. He soon discovered that planting a new vineyard was backbreaking, relentless work and financially very expensive.
Returning to part time work in June 1994 to help pay for his dream, he continued working part time for 4 years at the same time as he trained a vineyard worker he could trust. He proved to be a fast learner and very trustworthy thus enabling Mark to return to full time work in June 1998 to help support the vineyard. Glenn continues to manage all of the day to day viticulture activities.
Susan is as committed to the dream as was Mark in his early days. Susan has created gardens, works in the vineyard, runs the home-stay, manages the domestic and international marketing and is in charge of the tasting room. Mark manages the viticulture side, does all the masses of vineyard paperwork, and plans the ongoing development.
Both are tireless workers with big dreams. They both work full time in the corporate world in Wellington whilst supporting their passion for fine wine.
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