Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - Mar­jorie Cook

Akarua Win­ery in­vited the

Mir­ror to visit its new Pisa De­vel­op­ment Vine­yard near Cromwell last Fri­day.

Vine­yard man­ager Mark Nai­smith was jus­ti­fi­ably proud of lo­cal sup­port de­vel­op­ing the prop­erty and had or­gan­ised a wee bar­be­cue for 65.

Ev­ery­one bought some­thing – a trac­tor, a ban­ner, a freshly caught trout – so it be­came an im­promptu trade fair.

I was over­whelmed but grate­ful to learn about Cromwell’s very real op­por­tu­ni­ties from machin­ery sup­pli­ers, ir­ri­ga­tion and em­ploy­ment con­sul­tants, painters, earth­movers, post hole dig­gers, com­puter geeks and oth­ers.

Vines were planted around Cromwell in 1864 but the in­dus­try did not get onto its feet un­til the 1970s. Cen­tral Otago is now New Zealand’s fifth-big­gest wine pro­duc­ing re­gion and Cromwell is the pinot noir cap­i­tal.

Two things might stop the train: avail­able land and labour. I won’t ad­dress land is­sues here. But if you want a real job, go to Cromwell.

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