Turning fine Central Otago wine into fine Central Otago furniture


Made with the support of NZ On Air 



Wine changes with age but wine barrels are completely transformed by the creative talents of a Cromwell couple.

While waiting out the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, Maya Aleksic and Karl Smith turned extra time into opportunity by constructing imaginative objects from used wine barrels.

Mr Smith bought a number of barrels in January but they were ‘‘just sitting around’’ until enforced time at home brought on a burst of creativity.

The barrels have been turned into coffee tables, chairs, spice racks, cabinets, trays, fruit bowls, platters, mirrors and of course, wine racks.

After sharing photos of their creations on social media there was a flurry of interest for the recycled wares.

Barrels created during the lockdown period had all been sold and they were now getting expressions of interest from across the country.

As a carpenter he had made some barrels in the past, ‘‘ but I was never really motivated’’.

The wine barrels were sourced locally, and because they were generally only used by vineyards for three years, finding a new use for them reduced waste.

Their aim was to reuse each part of the barrel, and unused elements were set aside to become part of other items in the future.

Both were now back at work but were doing what they could in their spare time to devise new ideas and plans for their barrels.

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