Growing up in Blenheim in the eighties had its challenges for any young person. Choosing a high school was rather simple with only Marlborough Girls College and Marlborough Boys College to select from. No traffic lights, (there still are none, but the town could certainly do with some) no McDonald’s and seemingly nothing much for a teenager to do. Our parents said we had to be out of town by the time we were 18 and we certainly didn’t need much encouragement to leave home to seek further education and life experience.
For me, Christchurch Polytechnic led to five years nursing in England. This was followed by eight years studying and working in the wine business in Australia. Along the way I gained a husband, a mortgage and two young children. It is now the simple pleasures of that same small town of Blenheim, which has drawn me back to what I have always called home.
Being a family member of Saint Clair Family Estate it would seem obvious to reside where the winery is located, but circumstances had me living far from home base. Sydney was where I was for the last five years, living centrally in a small semi-detached terrace with a courtyard barely big enough to hang out the washing. Sydney had great entertainment, with bars, restaurants, cafés, nightlife, gigantic aquarium and wildlife parks, but also had heavy traffic, high humidity, noisy trains, planes and crowds of people.
In May 2012 we had an offer of employment for my husband Dave at the Blenheim hospital and a position for me at our family winery. An opportunity for our family to move back, to the small local community of Marlborough, that we could not refuse.
Those things that appeared negatives many years ago are now attractions. Wide open spaces, places to run, places to soak in the view, places to relax, crisp clean air, vines to grow and wines to taste – it couldn’t be better.
Saint Clair Family Estate is proud to be a family owned Marlborough winery. With the third generation still in ‘young child’ mode, they are too young to appreciate what they have, but old enough to know what they like. We can only hope that they grow to appreciate and be passionate for the land, the vines and the wines as much as we are. We will certainly encourage them to explore and see the world, just like our parents encouraged us, but we hope that eventually they will realise that there really is no place quite like home.