Queenstown's Original Wine Tour is a highly successful tourism business, hugely due to long term committed staff, strong local support and repeat customers & agents booking our tours.
Queenstown Wine Trail..making wine personal
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, pictured above alonside his new 2013 Mercedes Van.
Lance has been involved in the Queenstown tourism industry for 34years. 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.
Business Manager: Andrew Bisset and his young family moved to Queenstown 10 years ago, having decided while on their honeymoon back in 2001 that this beautiful town was the place they would love to live. While on their honeymoon they joined Queenstown Wine Trail's Original Tour with Lance as guide, now he is managing the business! Previous to joining the company, Andrew managed a busy activity booking agency for 7 years in central Queenstown and brings a wealth of local tourism knowledge to the business. He loves this town, the people and get's great fulfilment from ensuring visitors feel the same when they are here.
Reservations: Laura Harris assists with our weekend reservations and has been working in tourism for a number of years, she ensures our operation runs seamlessly and will be able to answer any queries you have.
Guides: Our local guides each bring a wealth of knowledge and area of expertise with them that ensures our guests have a wonderful and personal wine experience.
John Frew has been with the company for many seasons and a true local who offers our clients some great Southern hospitality and shares a passion for good wine and food.
Jenny Lacey joined the company last winter, originally from the UK she has made New Zealand her home. She has a keen interest in the outdoors and is a qualified hiking and climbing guide. She has developed a keen interest in our local wine industry and loves to pass on her knowledge.
Peter Bersani is a trained Chef and Winemaker. Originally from Boston USA he’s called New Zealand home 25 years. Enthusiastic about all things food and wine he loves sharing his favourite places, stories and flavours with others.
Phil Lock is our longest serving guide who has been with us over 8 years entertaining our guests with stories and interesting wine facts. He is a keen skier and photographer and loves to tell a good joke.