Jason's interest in viticulture started when completing a Diploma of Horticulture and Floriculture in Australia . Jason returned to New Zealand and enrolled in a Horticultural Science Degree at Lincoln University to get a more in-depth look at the science behind growing plants. Luckily for Waitiri Creek, a continued interest in vineyards resulted in Jason accepting an offer from a local vineyard to work in the Central Otago region and grasp an exciting opportunity in this rapidly developing area. Jason is now completing a Bachelor of Applied Science (Viticulture) from Charles Sturt University in Australia by distance education. Jason took over the management of the Waitiri Creek vineyards in 2003.

In Jason's time in Central Otago he has designed and developed vineyards, assisted in vintages in the winery and runs a successful management team. His continued dedication to growing the best quality grapes for the Waitiri Creek brand greatly assists the winemaker and gives consistency and quality to Waitiri Creek's wines .


Southland born and raised, Jason trained as a chef in the Royal New Zealand Navy where he attained distinction and was awarded a Medal of Excellence. Studies at the University of Otago resulted in a Bachelor of Design with papers in Marketing and Management thrown in for good measure.

He managed the kitchen of New Zealand’s busiest café and restaurant at Sky City, Auckland before settling in the Wakatipu Basin and becoming Food and Beverage Manager as well as Executive Chef in Queenstown with an Accor Hotel. Jason joined us in 2004 and has done a sterling job of ensuring that visitors to our cellar door have a memorable experience of great wine, great food and great people. He and his wife Lara and their three children enjoy the lifestyle that the local area offers, with its stunning scenery and friendly atmosphere.


Jen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the prestigious Stanford University, located near the Napa Valley, which is where she first began her love affair with wine. While based in London working in international software sales, Jen's passion and palate for international wines grew, along with her love of food and travel. Her decision to pursue a career in winemaking led her to New Zealand, France and Oregon as well as working vintages in California, New York and South Africa.

In 2007, Jen made Central Otago her home, having worked previous vintages in Marlborough, Hawkes Bay and Waipara. Jen brings boundless enthusiasm, a well developed palate and a wealth of experience to the art of winemaking.  She is also very involved in food and wine education in the local community.

When not in the winery, Jen can be found in Wanaka cooking up feasts for friends, running after the infamous winery dog Missy, hiking or enjoying a powder day on Treble Cone.


A background in the corporate world has provided a sound base for Alistair’s work with Waitiri Creek. He still works full time in his own consultancy/merchant bank while masterminding the vineyard’s development and generally trying to keep all the balls in the air! Married to the Export & Marketing Manager – lucky guy!


Frequently described as a “reformed barrister”, Paula’s role has expanded with the increased demand for our wines. Initially responsible for sales within New Zealand as well as a slew of administrative roles, she now focuses her energies on developing our offshore markets.

She assures us that although she is racking up the air points, it is all about Waitiri Creek and building relationships. The growth of our exports in the last few years would tend to suggest that she is actually doing the business and not just having a good time when she is overseas.

Mark Naismith and Jason Thomson

Gibbston Wine & Food Festival, Waitiri Creek 2007