Explore Marlborough specialises in intimate wine experiences and boutique local wineries. Our mission is simple: to take our combined decades of experience of Marlborough’s unique wine and culture and turn it into an unforgettable day for you. Meet our team who make this possible!
Karen WalsheOwner and Guide
Karen is the soul of Explore Marlborough. She has lived in the region for the past 10 years and is passionate about its beauty and world-class wines. Fortunately for us, she is also passionate about sharing them. Karen created Explore Marlborough 8 years ago and has been showing off all that is wonderful about his spectacular valley ever since.
Andrew WrightOwner and Guide
Andrew is originally from the UK and emigrated to Blenheim 12 years ago. In a past life, Andy was a math teacher at a local secondary school, and only a part-time Marlborough wine buff. He is now full-time with Explore Marlborough and most days you will meet him out the Vines Village, guiding tours or doing the accommodation pick up/drop-off runs.
Ray was born in England and spent a career as a pilot, living in far-flung corners of the world. It took the stunning landscapes, warm people and pleasant climate of Marlborough to convince Ray he had found the place to retire. In Marlborough, Ray discovered a new world of wines and he has never looked back!
Hamish hails from Sussex, England, and originally became interested in wine while training as a chef. for Hamish, Marlborough’s charm is in its outdoor lifestyle, breathtaking scenery, choice weather and world-class wines. if pushed, he might name Te Whare Ra Wines as his favourite in the region. But it’s a very close call.
Kia wasn’t born with a glass of wine in her hand. But her french father made sure it wasn’t long before she had one. Kia was born in the Netherlands, but found her home, and husband, among Marlborough’s beautiful vineyards and stunning landscapes. Kia has worked at local cellar doors but found her true calling giving visitors the complete Marlborough wine experience with Explore Marlborough.
Norm Wilson was born and raised in Marlborough, originally hailing from Havelock. Norm has been interested in the local wine industry since the first major vineyard developments in Marlborough during the mid-1970s. He is understandably proud of the beautiful region he grew up in and counts local syrah, pinot noir and chardonnay among his favourite drops.
Basil Stanton is a retired marine scientist who moved to Blenheim from Wellington, becoming an olive grower and the producer of the much-loved Stantons Olive Oil. He is a mad-keen mountain biker, a skilled guitar player, a great cook and even makes his own Stantons Pinot Noir from his three rows of pinot noir grapes.
Jacqui is a Marlborough local, born and raised – because why would you ever leave this stunning region? Her love of wine grew from sharing it with family and friends over a meal. She now shares that passion, and her local knowledge, on Explore Marlborough wine tours. When not on an Explore Marlborough bike, she might be found in the surrounding hills on her mountain bike.
Glenn is originally from the UK but has lived in the stunning Marlborough Sounds town of Anakiwa for over 20 years. Glenn is a big fan of the local organic and biodynamic wines, and is an even bigger fan of the people who make them. Glenn appreciates Marlborough’s spectacular scenery and lovely weather as much as the next man—but for him it’s the warm people that really make Marlborough what it is.