At the heart of Hãhã, our wine panel taste and select the very best wine in New Zealand. This highly skilled panel includes wine judge John Belsham who is Wine Panel Chair for Cuisine magazine and Wine Consultant to Air New Zealand. John has a naturally keen wine sense and a long history working in the wine industry, both as maker and consultant, in New Zealand and France.
Hãhã wines are premium wines crafted for exceptional value. We understand that being passionate about wine doesn’t come hand in hand with expensive tastes. We believe that wine lovers should have their desires satisfied in a way that’s also affordable.
Wine tasting looks at clarity, varietal character, integration, expressiveness, complexity and connectedness – but you don’t need to worry about all that because that’s our job.
MEET THE PEOPLE
BEHIND THESE DELICIOUS
NEW ZEALAND WINES!
Ashton Ireland, Managing Director
Ash created the Hãhã wine brand in 2011, utilising his diverse experience from a leading New Zealand winery, a renowned high fashion company, and an award-winning retailer.
Ash gained an extensive background in global wine marketing and basic winemaking with a top Hawke’s Bay wine company. Combined with his earlier Accounting degree from Massey University and experience as Financial Controller in the 1990’s-2000’s, these credentials provide a sound grounding to build our rapidly growing New Zealand wine label. Ash looks after all domestic and international sales.
Ash is always keen to include some fun in the mix, especially if it works up a sweat like mountain biking, and his mountain bike often accompanies him as Ash shares his passion for Hãhã wines around the globe.
Daniel Nelson, General Manager
We welcomed Daniel to the team in June 2017. With a strong commercial background and having worked for many years with a global corporate, Daniel has returned to New Zealand with his young family, and now looks forward to making Hawke’s Bay his home.
Daniel is responsible for all aspects of the company making sure it runs smoothly on a day-to-day basis. This includes planning and strategy, finance and customer service. Outside of work, his three kids keeps him busy – and on the odd occasion, he likes to try and keep fit.
Jen Cho, Marketing & Operations
Jen joined the team in Dec 2016 and brings with her a wealth of experience in marketing and sales in the wine, juice, hospitality, export and tourism industries, and has successfully established and run her own bar and restaurant. Combined with her Bachelor of Wine Science and Bachelor of Commerce degrees, she has also done several vintages in the wine industry, some tinkering in the cider industry, and fits in perfectly with the Hãhã team.
She will be looking after all things marketing, logistics, customer service and accounts. And probably some other things too. Outside of this, Jen loves to (try and) live a simple life full of good food, good wine and good beer.
Tori Forshaw, Customer Service & Sales Support
Tori is your first port of call in terms of customer service and orders. When she is not busy assisting customers, sending wine, or providing sales and marketing support, you will find her out and about wine tasting, or at the pub having a quiet.
Despite all this, Tori still finds time to go to the gym and do a bit of crafty distilling in her spare time.
Maree Brown, Merchandising & Sales Support (Auckland)
Maree does a stellar job supporting our customers “on-the-ground” in Auckland, and you will find her in stores wine tasting, tasting the wine(!), and providing customer support at every level.
Hard to believe she is actually part time for us (but full time mum)!
John Belsham, Hãhã Consultant Winemaker
John has 35 years of wine industry experience, and owns the winemaking consulting group, Wine Focus Ltd. He is an international winemaker, businessman, consultant and critic.
John began his wine career in 1977 in Bordeaux, France, with a winemaking apprenticeship, then returned to New Zealand as assistant winemaker at Nobilo Vintners in the early 1980’s. He worked as wine maker at Matua Valley, then moved to Hunter Vines, Marlborough in the late 1980’s, as winemaker. John established Rapaura Vintners in 1991, and founded his own label, Foxes Island Wines, in 1992.
John is the Wine Panel Chair for Australasia’s leading food and wine magazine, Cuisine, and has held the role of Wine Consultant to Air New Zealand since July 2000.
He is a founding member and current Chair of the New Zealand Screw Cap Initiative, and has held a number of board positions and advisory roles, as well as speaking at conferences.
Chris Harrison, one of our Winemakers
Chris Harrison is well known in the Hawke’s Bay as a craftsman of fine wines and great beers.
Through his entrepreneurial spirit and practical disposition and with the support of his wife Jill, who he met while studying Post Graduate Oenology at Roseworthy college in South Australia in 1991, he created a successful brew pub in Rooster’s Brewhouse.
This paved the way for Beach House Wines which has gone from strength to strength and is fast becoming recognized as one of New Zealand’s top producers of fine wines.
Emma Lowe, one of our Winemakers
Emma’s interest in wine began as a teenager when she moved to Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand’s second largest grape growing area. In 2006, she graduated with a degree in winemaking from Adelaide University in Australia.
Emma has worked in wineries all over the world, including Australia, Switzerland, South Africa, France, and Chile. Living in Chile for three years, it became her second home: she worked for a family owned winery, and then moved on to manage one of the wineries of Santa Helena, part of Chile’s 2nd largest winery group, San Pedro.
Emma has now settled back in Hawke’s Bay, bringing her (now) husband, Marcelo with her. Together with her parents, she planted the grapes, designed and built her own winery, and started her own label, Monowai. She has also started a family, and their two young children love to help out!
Gary Duke, one of our Winemakers
Gary Duke is the Winemaker of our fantastic Brut Cuvee. Gary has a long and illustrious career in the wine industry, and is an expert in sparkling and still white wines. He began his career in the wine industry in 1981, as an Assistant Winemaker at
He began his career in the wine industry in 1981, as an Assistant Winemaker at Tisdalls Wines in Echuca, Victoria. Gary recently stepped aside from his role as Chief Winemaker for Hunter’s in Marlborough, after 25 years at the helm of the winemaking team.
His wine making talents enabled Hunters to reap numerous awards and accolades, with each vintage winning either a gold medal or a trophy, so Gary has a well deserved reputation as one of New Zealand’s leading Winemakers.