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Glenn Schaeffer defies every stereotype. A lover of arts, literature, travel, wine, cuisine, as well as an accomplished businessman, he has settled his sights on one purpose– his desire to share the beauty of Mahana with culture lovers from around the world. 

Principal/Director of Mahana, Glenn Schaeffer
“Let’s create a work of art and share it with the world.”

Glenn Schaeffer is an American-born hotelier, published author, art collector and philanthropist. He is a significant supporter of the arts in New Zealand, which he now calls his home half of the year.  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.  He was formerly 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: with both 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.

Previously known as Woollaston Estates (named after the famous New Zealand painter, Toss Woollaston) the vineyard and winery has recently re-branded itself as Mahana Estates, based on the now fortified role of co-founder and majority owner, Glenn Schaeffer. Having recently returned to New Zealand, Schaeffer’s presence has fanned the flames of inspiration and, in a sense, completed the circle.

Under Glenn’s tutelage, Mahana Estates is a showcase of leading contemporary New Zealand artists. Included in this collection is Schaeffer’s most prized work of art – Mahana wines. “What I have created here is a performance piece. This is not a still life with wine – it is a story in the making and, like any great play or piece of literature, it is the imagination of the perceiver that completes the story.”

“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 but winemaking celebrates the earth, and it attracts similar idealists.”


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Glenn Schaeffer with The Prince of Wales- Nov 2015
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