Queenstown Original Wine Tour is a highly successful business hugely due to long term committed staff, strong local support and repeat customers taking our tours.
Managing Director: Heather McDonald has a passion for Queenstown and the Central Otago region with a family history of gold mining and farming. Her great grandparents owned and operated the local store for gold miners in Skippers Canyon and her grandparents farmed Ben Lomond Station, which ran from the base of Coronet Peak through to the (now) gondola. Leaving the area Heather travelled extensively around the world before settling in Queenstown, nursing at the local Hospital. Due to Queenstown’s popularity, she became involved in the tourism industry, being a driver / guide into Skippers Canyon. Here she met her now husband and business partner Lance. Over the past 20 years Heather has shared total commitment to Queenstown Wine Trail enjoying being part of daily operations
Managing Director: Lance Benseman has been involved in the Queenstown tourism industry for 34 years. He has held a variety of interesting jobs, including stoking coal on the Earnslaw, Ski Patrol for the fantastic local ski fields, on site manager for the skating rink, and also as a raft guide on the Shotover River, where he met his lovely wife Heather.
Besides having a busy work and family life he enjoys art and music, and is a proud member of the Queenstown Ukelele Band. He also loves to take advantage of the fantastic golf venues around Queenstown when he gets a chance.
He has taken immense pleasure from seeing the Central Otago wine region grow, developing relationships with the wineries, and meeting wine enthusiasts from all over the world
Office Manager: Karen Savery has fitted in beautifully with Queenstown Wine Trail's
philosophy and objectives: to exceed customer expectations.
She came to us after seven years working for a 5 star resort in the area, and brings a wealth of experience from the travel and tourism industry.
"Karen has especially enjoyed becoming familiar with our full range of products.
The Helicopter Wine Tour being a favorite! "
Reservations: Bridgette Mosher joined us in 2010 and has since taken many Wine Trail bookings. Having worked in administration for NZ Ski and AJ Hackett previously she has a wealth of experience.
Senior Driver / Guide: Brendon Waller came back to Queenstown in 2009 to settle with his young family after many years overseas. He has a passion for the industry and an extensive knowledge of the area, and all it has to offer, especially the fantastic wine. Having an active interest in wine he frequented wine appreciation courses in Sydney and has continued to do so here in Queenstown.
Casual Driver / Guides: John Bradely & John Frew
Additional staff join the team for the summer months as visitor numbers increase. Queenstown Wine Trail employ long term local staff, who often spend the winter months on the ski slopes.
Winter crew enjoying Queenstown Wine Trail's 21st birthday cake