Our People

Any business, whether it is growing wine or creating computer software, is only as good as the people. At Ra Nui we are committed and dedicated to growing premium, hand crafted wine.

Steve Hotchin Steve Hotchin - Owner/Winemaker
A marketing graduate from Otago University, Steve started his wine career as an advisor to Allan Scott Wines. Over this period a passion for fine wine was formed resulting in Steve studying winemaking and grape growing at EIT Hawkes Bay and forming his first wine company - Mt Riley. In 2002 Steve sold out of Mt Riley with a view to starting his own boutique wine company and Ra Nui Wines was born. Steve travels extensively overseas, visiting wine areas and promoting Ra Nui Wines, the Marlborough region and the unique attributes of New Zealand.

Bart Arnst - Consultant Viticulturist
Bart Arnst Upon leaving school Bart worked in vineyards during the day and studied Horticulture at night then continued his education with Soil Studies at Massey University. It was while managing vineyards for Montana that Bart developed a strong interest in organic viticulture and this resulted in Bart trialing one of New Zealand's first organic vineyards - the results were impressive and won Bart a Marlborough Environmental Award. After 15 years growing grapes and advising growers and winemakers Bart is now regarded as one of New Zealand's foremost viticulturists with an encyclopaedic knowledge on organic matters.

Every week Bart visits our vineyards meeting with Jimmy Lucas to review, discuss and plan the operation of each Ra Nui vineyard.

Hugh Girling – Consultant Winemaker
Hugh Girling Originally from the UK, Hugh started his wine career working in the on-trade and then a stint with the UK wine merchant Oddbins. A passion for good wine ignited, Hugh then went on to study winemaking and viticulture in the UK and then completing vintages in France, Italy and also South East England. Hugh lectured in winemaking for some time and first came to NZ to complete vintage “down-under” in the late 90’s. Hugh then returned to the UK briefly and then together with his wife Sarah emigrated to Marlborough, NZ.

Hugh’s passion as a winemaker starts in the vineyard and he is equally at home on a tractor in the vineyard as in the winery. His philosophy has always been that winemaking starts in the vineyard, that both traditional and modern winemaking techniques and philosophies can be combined and that wine is to drink and enjoy…Cheers!!