Whether Siobhan is in meetings or out in the trade in fancy footwear, she never forgets that her career in the wine industry started with mud-caked boots, out in a newly developed vineyard.
“I love sales and marketing, but the vineyard is where wine starts. I’m lucky that I know quite a bit about that side of things,” she says.
Growing up in Waipukurau in rural Hawke’s Bay, she was surrounded by orchards and vineyards. After school, she completed a Bachelor of Horticulture with Honours in Business and Technology at Massey University.
The course required some practical work at the end, and Siobhan joined the erstwhile Montana Wines in 1996, working on a new Marlborough vineyard. From there, she transitioned into sales, based first in Auckland with various roles and then in Sydney. In Sydney, she rose from senior sales executive to marketing manager for Montana in Australia.
Returning to New Zealand in 2004, she took on the role as sales manager for Lion Nathan’s Distinguished Vineyards operation. Two years later, she started working with Brent Marris on Wither Hills and The Ned.
When he left Lion Nathan to start his own business, she was lured across as marketing manager for the new venture.
“I love that we have such a wonderful product, the people I work with, and the continuous challenges to meet the demands of distributors and the people who enjoy our wine,” says Siobhan.
As part of the foundation team, at first she had to take on roles not normally associated with sales and marketing – doing logistics and production planning!
With her at the helm of the marketing effort, Marisco Vineyards launched The Kings Series, The Craft Series, Leefield Station and a number of other brands in New Zealand, as well as into an ever-growing range of international markets. Siobhan now heads up the entire Sales and Marketing divison for Marisco, overseeing sales and marketing with a team of international sales people reporting through to her.
When she’s not working, Siobhan loves to cook and enjoy wine with her husband, who is also in the wine industry. When her nose isn’t in a cook book, she is busy trying to keep up with her five-year-old daughter!