Our team is top of its class in every area
Dedicated and skilled, each of our team members heard the call to Mahana and bring with them experience and knowledge from around the world, as well as a deep understanding of the local region. We work at bringing out the best in each other and the best of Mahana.
& Chandler Parker
Glenn Schaeffer is an American-born hotelier, published author, art collector, and philanthropist. He is a major supporter of the visual and literary arts in New Zealand. He has a Master of Arts in Literature from the University of California (Irvine), Master of Fine Arts in Fiction at the famed Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has also been awarded Litt D. (Hon) from Victoria University in Wellington. Formerly he was President and Chief Financial Officer of Las Vegas-based Mandalay Resort Group for twenty years, one of America’s top hospitality and entertainment companies.
In addition to art, Mr. Schaeffer is a collector of first-edition rare books and a sponsor of contemporary writing; in particular, he has a deep commitment to supporting international writers of conscience, as well as fostering the development of emerging writers. In 2006, Mr. Schaeffer was cited by Vanity Fair as one of the world’s most influential art collectors. “Creativity is a practice. It’s not an inspiration, it’s not an accident,” Schaeffer reminds us, “You can’t get somewhere without risking failure. As far as winemaking, I suppose I have fallen victim to idealism, as ours celebrates the earth and it attracts similar idealists.”
Chandler Parker is also American born and spent nearly twenty years in the sports apparel industry as a merchandiser, product manager, designer and branding specialist. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Oregon (Eugene), an Associate of Arts in Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (San Francisco), and a Master of Fashion from Domus Academy (Milan, Italy) accredited through the University of Wales.
“Before I met Glenn, I dreamt of one day living on a vineyard. Careful what you wish for, as the saying goes. I am passionate about what he has created and never tire of learning about and sharing the wines.”
Jane Faulkner of the James Halliday Wine Companion Magazine April/May 2015 says, “Michael is a deep thinker, one of the most perceptive, intelligent, considered yet rebellious winemakers. After 20-plus years making wine, he no longer accepts anything as given. He doesn’t simply question the status quo; he challenges it,”
Michael Glover left his family’s small vineyard, which is just a few kilometres away from Mahana, back in 1993 to complete a Wine Science degree at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, Australia. The intention was always to return but having met his wife Catherine whilst studying, his return was delayed by about twenty-two years. While in Australia, he worked as a winemaker in the Hunter Valley at The Rothbury Estate, when it was still in the hands of the legendary Len Evans. After five years in the Hunter, he went to the cooler climates of Tasmania, where he worked for Moorilla Estate. After the departure of long time Winemaker, Gary Farr, Michael was recruited to iconic Bannockburn Vineyards in Geelong. It was here that he was truly given free reign to begin exploring unique winemaking practices and began to develop his own personal style.
Over the years he vintaged at wineries in Campania, Puglia, Sardinia, Tuscany, Mosel, Provence and Burgundy constantly honing his ability and broadening his knowledge base. Having worked with many great producers with strong philosophies in Europe, Michael says he has no doubt that great wine comes from great vineyards producing great grapes. “The limiting factor of any wine is the site. You could be the greatest winemaker on the planet, but you’re only as good as your site,” he submits.
“Mahana gives me the opportunity to make wine from dry-grown and organically managed vineyards that produce fruit requiring no ‘extraneous’ additions. The winemaking takes place in a winery that is purpose-built to use gravity rather than pumps. For me…it is as authentic and as pure as it can be.”
Assistant Winemaker & Cellar Master
The role of the Assistant Winemaker and Cellar Master is a comprehensive one which requires an exceptional, in-depth and practical understanding of all processes and movements. From the first pickings off the vine to the last label rolled onto the bottle, the Cellar Master carries great responsibility in ensuring that all runs smoothly in the winery and that our philosophy is carried out in every step along the way.
Adrian has been native to the Tasman region since 1995 when he and his wife, Gretchen moved back to raise their children closer to the family’s roots. Gretchen’s grandfather, Viggo duFresne, was from the Nelson area and was good friends with Toss Wollaston. He planted some of the very first grapes in the region and even had what is known to be the region’s first gravity-flow winery.
Adrian’s personal philosophy centres on producing wines that are individualistic and as much about the terroir as the people involved. “Producing great wine encompasses far more than simply working with what comes into the winery – instead requiring significant input from our people at harvest, in processing, handling in the cellar, to bottling and distribution,” he explains.
The role of Assistant Winemaker and Cellar Master is certainly one of the busiest at the winery; Adrian says he enjoys the diversity of the day to day, but he also appreciates his time spent outside the winery, working on classic cars and exploring Aotearoa with the family in the campervan.
Vineyard Manager & Viticulturist
Julian, originally from Christchurch, worked in the vineyards of Canterbury to pay his way through university, where he earned a degree in Classics. After graduating, he moved to Nelson where he ended up working with vines for the next six years. During this time Julian says he often contemplated the rolling hills of what was then a sprawling apple orchard in Mahana, daydreaming about developing vineyards on this land, which he reckoned would be one of the best sites in the country for producing premium Pinot Noir.
Later he took a position in Gisborne, managing the vineyards for New Zealand’s second-largest wine company. Here he learned a great deal, but more importantly he was introduced to the pioneer of organic grape growing in New Zealand.
In 2001, Julian received some interesting news – that apple orchard in Mahana which he knew so well was being turned into a vineyard. There was no doubt in his mind that now was the time to return to Nelson and take up what he described as, “the ultimate gig.”
At Mahana, Julian helped establish and develop the three vineyards, Mahana, Burke’s Bank and Red Shed. He found that he was given essentially a free hand to explore, experiment and learn. After 9 years of grape growing he came to realise that the conventional method was not the only way to grow grapes and certainly not the best. Under his guidance, the company was the first New Zealand vineyard to certify three vineyards at the same time as fully organic under BioGro.
Julian says he didn’t think he was doing anything unusual. “Over the years of growing under the conventional system we had grown more relaxed and more confident in the vines ability to cope with seasonal influences. The main thing I’ve found with organics is that we have to be so much more proactive about vineyard management and more involved with the land, vineyards and vines. With a conventional system there is always a silver bullet for adverse climatic or disease events. With organics, we have to know what’s here, know what’s coming, and deal with it immediately. You can’t just wait till it arrives and then deal with it.”
Director of Marketing
Kateland Carr is the Director of Marketing at Mahana Imports. LLC. First and foremost, however, she is a wine lover. Ms. Carr got her start in the entertainment industry, where she has extensive experience in both “on camera” and behind the scenes production. She also has considerable experience in marketing, sales and social media content across many types of businesses.
One of Kateland’s true passions, however, has always been wine. She had a desire to use her on-camera skills to promote wine to a broader market across America, which resulted in the creation of her wine show, Real Wine w/ Kateland Carr. After quickly growing her audience to thousands of views per episode across multiple platforms, she began to feel the need to get her hands dirty in the actual production of wine. Kateland wanted to learn about winemaking from the bottom up to be better able to promote and market wine on a wider scale. With that in mind, she embarked on a 4-year journey embracing the life of a “traveling winemaker” and earned one of her most coveted titles, “dig-out queen.”
After seven harvests in California, Australia, New Zealand and Oregon, she has decided to return to the role of wine marketing and sales with a renewed passion for the industry and invaluable first-hand knowledge of the winemaking process.