Winners celebrate from afar

Misha and Andy Wilkinson were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary sailing around the Greek...
Misha and Andy Wilkinson were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary sailing around the Greek Islands, when they heard their business had won the Central Otago Awards' Business Excellence award. PHOTO: MISHA WILKINSON
When the winners of the Central Otago Awards' business excellence award heard about their success, they were on a yacht cruising around the Greek Islands.

Misha and Andy Wilkinson, of Misha's Vineyard, Bendigo, were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary while the awards ceremony was held in Roxburgh. Team members Suzie Smith and Jill Massey represented the business at the event.

Speaking from the yacht, Mrs Wilkinson said they were "really chuffed" at the news.

Now in its ninth year, the Central Otago Awards is held once every two years to honour excellence, innovation, big hearts and the contributions of Central Otago people to their communities.

The vineyard business was described by the judges as "a textbook case of excellent business practice. Essentially faultless."​

Mr and Mrs Wilkinson's "no compromises" approach to establishing their vineyard had led to the development of a highly successful, world-class viticulture business, the judges said.

"We never thought about entering but Shirley Howden [of the Central Otago District Council] encouraged us to do it," Mrs Wilkinson said.

"We thought we might learn something in the process and that is important in a business, that we are always learning something."

They included their financial information, as well as taking part in a panel interview, when they talked about their business, and other initiatives including the Four Barrel Walking Wine Tour, and their new tasting rooms.

"The application process was not too onerous and we encourage other people to enter the awards."

Winning the award was an important achievement, as it meant they were running a good business.

"For Andy and I, we had always wanted to that, and it is important for us and for our staff and the company as a whole. It confirmed we are doing a good job."

Misha's Vineyard, grows pinot noir and other varieties over 57ha, and exports to 15 markets.

"Twenty five years ago there was no wine activity in the region but now there are more than 130 wineries in Central Otago.

"That just shows the changing face of our region and how important viticulture is as part of the community."

She said the quality of Central Otago wines was world class and created significant kudos for the region overseas.

Young viticulturist Annabel Bulk, who works for Felton Road Wines, won the young professional award.

Add a Comment