Rob Hay - Director and Winemaker
A keen mountain biker and failed motocross rider - Rob is the founder and proprietor of Chard Farm, along with wife Gerdi. Rob and partner Gerdi have twin boys Joachim and Nico, and daughter Romy. Rob is involved with the Wakatipu Trails Trust, helping design cycling and walking trails around Queenstown and Southern Lakes District. He has done multi-stage mountain bike races in South Africa and Canada and helped develop the annual Tour de Wakatipu mountain bike race which finishes at Chard Farm. Rob is busy most days trying to keep the wheels on the Chard Farm machine and the bank manager at bay.
Gerdi Schumann - Director and Office Manager
The other half of the Leadership duo and also a keen mountain biker with 7 Motatapu events to her credit! Gerdi planted the very first vines on Chard Farm in 1987 and has been instrumental in the development of Chard Farm ever since. She is famous in these parts for her great cooking skills and has warmed many a winemakers stomach on a cold autumn night mid vintage with her Beef Wellington or Stroganoff creations. She runs the office at Chard Farm with an iron fist and is also part-time office manager at the local preschool, imparting some good German financial discipline and rectitude!
John Wallace - Chief Winemaker
John is a retired Ski instructor, keen brewer, a dedicated foodie and another mountain biker. He has been with us forever, initially employed as a vineyard hand and cellar rat in 1997. He took over the reigns of chief winemaker at Chard Farm in 2002 and has done several Northern hemisphere vintages in Oregon and California. John and wife Jo have a son - Hugo and daughter - Isobel. John is famous for his dry sense of humour and very tasty beers, the latest being an IPA-Indian Pale Ale. As the saying goes - it takes a lot of beer to make great wine! He also makes a wicked Central Otago gin created using the traditional triple distilled London dry gin technique, and using Central Otago botanicals.
Matt Groves - Sales Manager
Matt fancies himself as a top golfer, ace ice hockey player and gun skier we hear about his exploits every day at smoko! He is, in reality, none of those but has however been doing a great job marketing and selling Chard Farm wines to NZ and the world. Matt has been with us since 1999. With wife Marti, they have two young boys Ben and William - this new found fatherhood has tempered his golfing, skiing and ice hockey pursuits.
Jan Forward - Office and Administration
The only true local amongst us a real southern gal! Jan's father ran the Royal Oak Hotel in Arrowtown for many years. We aren't sure who has the more iron fist in the office her or Gerdi but all we know is that it's a well oiled (and sometimes scary!) machine in there these days. Jan and husband Murray have two children Clay and Eilish.
Jessie Deng - Cellar Door Manager
This Lady has some credentials! Jessie moved to Auckland to complete a PGD in Wine Science at Auckland University. With vintages in Bourgogne, and Marlborough under her belt, her love for wine took her to the iconic Stonyridge Winery on Waiheke island in 2012 as the Cellar Door Manager. She has now started her role as Cellar Door Manager of Chard Farm and has just completed her WSET level 4 – diploma in WSET. You would most definitely want to be invited to any of Jessie’s dinner parties, she serves the best food and wine matches!
Tim Sutherland - Winemaking Assistant
Tim is a Kiwi from Keri Keri who graduated from Lincoln University in 2012 and has been making wine non-stop all over the globe. For four years he's bounced back and forth from the northern hemisphere to the south crushing those grapes, doing vintages in America, Canada, Australia, and all over Europe. He has finally settled here in Central Otago where he can make great pinot's and enjoy all the other "cool" activities Central Otago has to offer.
Hamish Hay - Vineyard Manager
Hamish has been involved in the Central Otago wine industry for the past 18 years. Originally hailing from Omakau, he helped to develop our vineyards in the Cromwell basin, before a stint with Farmlands as their Technical Advisory Officer and has now come back into the fold as our Vineyard manager. Hamish is still based in Omakau with his partner Rebecca, they have two children – Lorelei and William. He coaches the local junior hockey team and is right into curling in the Winter.