Our Story

Te Kano is Māori for ‘The Seed’. Seeds we plant today will blossom for future generations.

/ 05

Te Kano People

Rhonda Lloyd

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.

Dave Sutton

Winemaker and General Manager

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.

Nick Hunter

Estate Operations Manager

Nick has led an illustrious career on his journey to Te Kano. Originally from Marlborough, wine has always been in his blood. Now too it is an integral part of his identity. He has worked in every level of the wine industry, from planting and developing small vineyards for his family and others, 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 Estate Operations Manager sees him directing and guiding the daily operations across our four vineyards and leading the native planting and regeneration projects that form the heart of our Northburn site.

Joe Chen

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.

Coco Yu

North Island Sales 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.

Bevan Shaw

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.

Christine Nichelsen

Assistant Winemaker

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.

Bruna Baldez

Operations

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.

Te Kano Wine Club