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Akarua Harvest
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Ariane de Rothschild –
Chairwoman, Edmond de Rothschild Group

Ariane de Rothschild was born in San Salvador. She lived in many countries during her peripatetic and cosmopolitan childhood, including Bangladesh, Colombia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After studying business in Paris and earning an MBA from Pace University, she began her career in the early 1990s in New York at Societe Generale and then at AIG, playing a central role in the finance-driven world transformation.

Married to Benjamin de Rothschild, she started by reorganising the Group’s foundations and winemaking, farming and hospitality businesses, and invested in the Gitana Team to build a new generation of transatlantic airborne boats. Gradually taking the helm at the bank from 2015 onwards, she has transformed it into a banking group positioned as a conviction-driven investment house.

Ariane de Rothschild is turning the Group squarely towards impact investment, her intimate knowledge of emerging countries and experience in philanthropy lending her the conviction that responsible finance can change the world. Her philosophy and action are informed and nurtured by inter-cultural dialogue, education, the environment, art, economic and social development, and the place of women in society, as well as by the responsibility inherent in wealth transmission. She has instilled this spirit of engagement, boldness and responsibility across the entire Edmond de Rothschild Group, the Board of which she has chaired since 2019.

Anne ESCALLE 1

Anne Escalle –
Director of Operations

Having graduated with Masters in Viticulture, Vinification, and Vineyard Management from the National School of Agricultural Engineering in Bordeaux, Anne holds a passion for ‘the alchemy between grapevines, terroirs, people and wines”. Previously a consultant for luxury wine estates ten years prior to her immigration to New Zealand fifteen years ago – she began her role as Head Winemaker for the Bankhouse Estate in Marlborough, the largest single estate in New Zealand.

In 2019, she joined Edmond de Rothschild Heritage and Rimapere to focus on what she considers the most important aspect of her role as technical director: excellence in wine management, as well as a renowned respect for the culture and land. A French citizen and ‘Kiwi’ at the helm of an international team, she views cultural diversity as the spice of life.

Kurt Robinson, Viticulturist

Kurt Robinson –
Head of Culture

Head of Culture for Rimapere and Akarua. “Take care of the land as you would care for your family" – this is Kurt Robinson’s motto. Kurt joined Rimapare in Marlborough seven years ago and has been the leading driver of its conversion to organic and regenerative vineyard practices in his time there. Kurt has relocated to Central Otago to carry out the same mission at Akarua- to restore, revive and replenish the soil so it can provide for us.

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Pete Bartle –
Senior Winemaker

Originally from Hawke’s Bay, Pete fell in love with Central Otago over 20 years ago, captivated by its magnificent landscapes. His vinification of the region’s various terroirs forged over many years from his position at VinPro – an organisation that produces various wines from numerous estates. His reputation as one of Central Otago’s most highly reputed oenologists and winemakers is well known. In his heart lies a passion for pinot noir and chardonnay, and his aim at Akarua is to enhance the quality of the wines to their highest heights.

Direct Sales Manager Deborah Adams

Debbie Adams –
Sales Manager

Irish-born Debbie Adams has worked for the past eight years in marketing, sales & business development specifically for the wine industry.

After graduating with an Honours Bachelor of Business in Ireland, her adventurous spirit led the move to New Zealand in December 2012. While working amongst the stunning vineyard landscapes of Blenheim, Debbie realised her love for the wine industry. Debbie started as a marketing assistant with Akarua in 2013 and shortly after, gained her WSET level 2 certification in Queenstown. She went on to diversify her skills and gain further experience in the wine business by acting as Business Development Manager for Prophet’s Rock for several years. Now, as sales manager for Akarua and Rimapere, Debbie is excited to help grow Edmond de Rothschild Heritage here in New Zealand, and ensure our wines continue to be shared and enjoyed around the world.

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Allie Davis –
DTC Manager

Originally from California, Allie moved to New Zealand 5 years ago for a semester abroad at Massey University in Wellington. Upon finishing her programme in creative writing at Massey, and ultimately receiving her Bachelor of Science in Business Management she moved on to receive her Applied Graduate Diploma in Publishing from Te Auaha, Whitireia in Wellington. Once finishing her degree, she moved far south to Arrowtown to pursue a dream career in wine with Akarua.

For the past 4 years, Allie has held various roles within the Akarua businesses as well as achieving her WSET levels 1, 2 (with distinction), & 3 (with Merit overall, distinction in theory) in Queenstown and in Christchurch. Her role as DTC Manager for Akarua and Rimapere comprises of creation and overseeing of DTC & e-commerce sales, coordination of the wine club and members, writing tasting notes, overseeing the cellar door team, and her favourite, planning and attending wine festivals for Edmond de Rothschild Heritage.

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