Johnno’s fascination and experience in the wine industry began between high school and university when he started working at his local winery, Preston's Kiwifruit Winery/Mills Reef. The Preston's Kiwifruit winery label has won best New Zealand fruit winery on numerous occasions. This winery helped to fund the Mills Reef Premium Winery, twice winner of ‘Best New Zealand Producer’ and winner of the trophy at the London international wine show for their Syrah. Johnno began bottling/labelling, working in the warehouse, cellar and giving tasting’s at winery sponsored events. At the same time, he was working nights in the kitchen at Somerset cottage, a gourmet restaurant with a cult-like following. This become his summer holiday programme throughout his University holidays.
After completing a four year degree in Strategic Management and Marketing, Johnno completed a vintage at Montana Wines in Gisborne - New Zealand’s largest wine producer. Ten months of surfing and snowboarding led him back to Mills Reef Winery, where he crushed the first grapes of vintage, before flying solo to Western Australia, namely Margaret River, in search of large, perfect waves and a job!
Johnno managed to get two vintages under his belt at Amberley Wines, which led in to cellar door sales and vineyard work. Johnno also worked as bar supervisor at the Bootleg Brewery, one of the South West’s premier tourist attractions.
Johnno began managing Wine for Dudes in 2006, and having fallen in love with the South West region, decided to buy the business as Owner/Manager/Tour Operator in July 2007. Johnno’s passion for wine, travel, surfing and meeting people makes working in this industry extremely fulfilling for him, and it shows in the way he delivers his exceptional tours!