Te Kano is Māori for ‘The Seed’. Seeds we plant today will blossom for future generations.
This tree forms the basis of the Te Kano values. It also provides the inspiration for an ambitious project – to clear the Northburn site of invasive pests and regenerate the landscape using plants grown on site, including seed from this very tree.
Every year our team harvest and propagate 400 seeds from Old Man Kōwhai, nurturing the slow growing infants until they are ready to plant out across this special landscape. To date we have propagated over 5000 native plants on site, including 900 Kōwhai, and cleared over 50 hectares of invasive plant species.
Significant value was placed on these remains during our original site development. The vineyard grew around them, the old mine workings scattered amongst the blocks of vines and now carefully fenced to protect these precious remnants of Central Otago history.
Walking and biking trails are planned for this area, an opportunity for visitors in the future to immerse themselves within the unique landscape of this special area.
A slash and burn approach to agriculture dominated the next 100 years of Northburn’s existence, with scrub regularly lit to clear the way for new pasture and grazing land. The land was massively changed, but not irrevocably so.
Te Kano has started a new era for the Northburn site, to undo some of the harms done by previous occupants. Our goal is to leave a different sort of footprint, with a restorative and regenerative approach to agriculture and a focus on leaving the land better than we found it.
Rhonda Lloyd is a Californian who fell in love with a New Zealander and, from there, fell in love with his country. During regular trips back here their mutual love of Central Otago’s wines grew into a passion. When the opportunity came to purchase outstanding vineyard land they didn’t hesitate.
There followed another love story – the discovery of the Northburn site and its breathtaking natural beauty. Their desire to bring life back to this damaged landscape, to restore the Kōwhai that once thrived there, inspired a move towards organic agriculture and a softer approach to farming.
Now they want to share their adoration for this land. It is why the seeds planted today will blossom for the generations to come. It is how the love story will continue, year after year.
Te Kano People
Owner and Marketing Director
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Rhonda’s love of New Zealand began with her marriage to a New Zealander and an immersion into his culture. Both truly global citizens, they have lived, worked and travelled from London to New Zealand and everywhere in between.
Passionate about Central Otago’s wines and the environment, Rhonda’s vision has fuelled a unique vineyard and environmental restoration project at Northburn – her unwavering desire to leave a positive legacy for their two daughters and the generations to come.
After obtaining a Bachelors Degree in Viticulture and Winemaking Dave set out to explore the world of wine. Initially working as a viticulturist in Marlborough and South Australia he then joined winery harvests in the USA, Chile, Spain, Germany, France, Ukraine, Australia and around New Zealand.
A Central Otago vintage in 2010 opened his eyes to the potential in the region and he spent six years working with some of the best fruit in the area before joining Te Kano and the Lloyd family on their journey. His broad range of experiences have left him with an open mind and a soft touch, a desire to let the site express itself and allow the fruit to shine.
Originally from Marlborough, wine has always been in his blood, now too it is an integral part of his identity. After studying Commerce and Horticulture at Lincoln University, he has worked in every level of the wine industry, from planting and developing vineyards for his family in Marlborough and Central Otago to managing large-scale operations across multiple regions.
Nick brings a love of wine, a passion for sustainability, and an enduring positive outlook to the team. His role as General Manager sees him directing and driving daily operations to achieve Te Kano's overarching vision and legacy.
North Island Sales Manager
Growing up surrounded by the vineyards and orchards of Nelson, Joe’s fascination with wine started at a young age. A seven-year stint in the restaurant industry only heightened this fascination – and it quickly became an obsession. Taking a leap into selling wines was the logical next step, and one he has never looked back from.
With a sincere, laidback personality and an encyclopaedic wine knowledge, Joe is loved by clients and colleagues alike. When not on the road he values time at home with his two young children.
Cellar Door Manager
A passionate wine enthusiast, Coco has dedicated herself to acquiring wine knowledge and sharing it with others since graduating from Lincoln University in 2017. Several harvests around New Zealand gave her a unique insight into the production of premium wines, and working in some of the countries best cellar doors in North Canterbury, Waiheke Island and Central Otago have rounded this out with a passion for sharing fantastic wine experiences with others.
Coco’s energy and charm mean that our guests arrive as customers and leave as friends.
Assistant Vineyard Manager
Born and bred in Southland, Bevans family have been part of the Central Otago community since 1886.
After studying at Otago University, Bevan began his journey in food and wine with chef’s positions from Dunedin to London and back again. A summer vineyard job in Central Otago awakened a desire to learn more, and in 2013 he took the plunge into the wine industry fulltime.
An avid believer in organic and regenerative viticulture, Bevan brings passion and conviction to the team, and has made huge improvements to the calibre of the staff meals since joining Te Kano.
Starting life in Australia, Christine spent her teenage years in New Zealand before returning to Australia to become a qualified Chef. After owning and running her own successful café, she transitioned into the wine industry and spent several harvests in Australian wineries before coming back to this side of the Tasman.
Christine loves food, wine and animals of all kinds. She is a great believer in organics and the natural wine movement, and brings a lively spark and warm dose of compassion to the winery team.
Originally from the South of Brazil, Bruna’s love for life is infectious. Graduating with a Bachelors’ degree in Hospitality,
Brunas’ travels led her to Central Otago and a position at one of the regions premier luxury lodges.
Immersed in the world of fine wine service, and surrounded by the incredible natural beauty of the region, Bruna knew that a life in the Central Otago wine industry was inevitable, and this has been her home since 2004.
With a role that covers all areas of the business, Bruna is the glue that holds the Te Kano team together.
/ WINE CLUB
Join the Wine Club
Our wine club is the best way to embrace the Te Kano lifestyle, with exclusive invitations to private events hosted locally and around the country, and access to rare and unique wines at members-only prices.