Jane Hunter, a legend amongst New Zealand’s wine industry, is being inducted into the Business Hall of Fame.
Hunter has been the managing director of Hunter’s Wines since 1987 and has received numerous wine-related accolades. In 1997, Hunter was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Massey University, and in 2009, was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to viticulture. Often referred to as the ‘First Lady of New Zealand Wine’, Hunter has also received recognition at the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s World Class New Zealand Awards, for her outstanding contribution to the country’s economic development.
Hunter’s journey with wine began from a young age helping her father out around the vineyard in South Australia. After that she got a degree in agricultural science from the University of Adelaide, all the while teaching horticulture to prisoners, running cafes, and eventually becoming the national viticulturist for Montana Wines in Blenheim. After meeting and marrying Ernie Hunter, who had started Hunter’s Wines in 1979, the two put Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc on the map by winning the Sunday Times Wine Festival in London, in 1986. After Ernie’s tragic passing, Jane was left to run the company—something that didn’t come without its troubles. However, Jane lead the company to local and international success, something that has helped her get to where she is now.