Ali Pottinger, Sales and Marketing Manager, Omaka Springs Estates

Born, Bred, Schooled:
I was born in Auckland (Auckland?!) Yeah, I know……… But I did move to Southland when I was a few months old and therefore can rightfully claim to be not only a Mainlander, but a Southlander as well! I lived in Southland for so long that I still roll my R's if I’m not careful. I went to boarding school St Peter’s College in Gore. I still remember that day in February when we all went for a drive and I got left behind in Gore...

First wine industry job – year:
Was in 2011 as a Cellar Hand doing the graveyard (night) shift. Think I’ll never get over having ‘morning tea’ at 10.30pm and ‘afternoon tea’ at 3.30am! The highlight of each shift was to play a selection of songs just before we finished for the night. I’ll never forget ‘Africa’ by Toto as long as I live!

First real (full time) job (outside of school/uni holidays):
I worked in a bank! This is where I learned the benefits of compounding interest. It really is a beautiful thing…..

Career Highlight:
Having a meeting with a former Prime Minister in Auckland.

Cat? Dog?
We have a cat at home called June-o. He’s less than a year old but he’s bigger than a horse. I’m not sure what we’ve done to create this sumo wrestler of a cat, but we need to sign him up to Jenny Craig Weightwatchers soon. He has a habit of getting on the roof of our house and then needing to be rescued.  

Desert island wine and food:
A nicely oaked Chardonnay with some freshly caught Salmon. I’m starting to have visions of Tom Hanks in ‘Cast Away’ now…

My parents have been wonderful mentors. Also an uncle of mine. A true gentleman.

Dinner table companions, dead or alive…
Gosh, how big is the table? Colonel Sanders from KFC would be a good starting point. Then I’d get out of him what the secret KFC spices are.

Moses from the Bible would be great – I’ve always wanted to know how he parted the Red Sea. Definitely both sets of grandparents! 

Greatest achievement…
Definitely my family. They never cease to amaze me.

New Zealand wine industry needs:
To keep pushing the boundaries and build on our strengths. More research and innovation required from the vineyard through to the end product.
If you weren’t working in the wine industry, what would you be doing?
Getting paid to fly aircraft.

One thing about you people might be surprised to learn?
I’ve jumped out of a perfectly good aircraft twice but I’m still too chicken to go bungee jumping!

If you had the day off tomorrow what would you like to do:
Take my wife out for lunch.


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