Matching wine with whales
Wine is usually matched with cheese, but award-winning, boutique winemaker Johanneshof Cellars is pairing its finest wines with Picton’s National Whale Centre (NWC).
Johanneshof has become the exclusive wine sponsor of the NWC, bringing Marlborough’s wines and whales together in what NWC chair Nick Gerritsen describes as a synergy of local business.
“It seems an unconventional partnership, but we have a lot more in common than you might think,” says Gerritsen.
Both the NWC and Johanneshof have been making waves internationally, with multiple awards for its fine wines and worldwide praise for NWC’s modern, interactive museum concept.
The NWC’s display and development hub on Picton’s foreshore is not like a traditional museum. The centre appreciates and displays the history of whaling and its importance to the Marlborough area in the past while using education and interactive technologies to focus on conserving whales and other cetaceans, such as dolphins, for the future.
Similarly, Johanneshof combines old world knowledge with innovative winemaking techniques to produce quality, hand-harvested, Marlborough-grown wines – including their famed Gewürztraminer.
“Of course, there is also a shared concern about guardianship of New Zealand’s environment, whether that is rooted on land or in the ocean,” says Gerritsen referring to the fact that nine years ago Johanneshof planted a 17-acre forest consisting of 6000 oak trees at their property.
Johanneshof’s sponsorship, which includes supplying wine for NWC functions, will support fundraising efforts to expand the current NWC hub into a much larger centre.
“The support of sponsors like Johanneshof brings a fully-fledged NWC within reach. We’re looking forward to a partnership that brings out the best of Marlborough,” says Gerritsen.
The NWC Trust aims to eventually build an iconic, interactive space on Picton’s waterfront for visitors to learn more about current whale and dolphin conservation efforts and the local area’s whaling history through temporary exhibitions and events.
The NWC project continues to gain wide support from individual supporters, visitors and a growing list of benefactors.