Legends of Central Otago's Wine World

Meet Alan Brady

Alan Brady was born and raised in Northern Ireland, trained as a journalist, then came out to New Zealand in 1959 to work on newspapers including the Otago Daily Times in Dunedin. He worked in television news and current affairs until 1977 and continued as a freelance writer and documentary maker until 1990.

Together with his wife, he purchased some land at Gibbston in 1976 as a weekend retreat from the hurly-burly of the city and television news. They restored an old gold miner’s stable and soon found the weekends weren’t long enough. Gibbston became a place of dreamy escape where life was free of stress and conflict so in 1977 they stepped off their career ladders and came to live here full time.

They didn’t come to Gibbston with the thought of growing grapes. In the 1970s the wine industry was just starting in Marlborough, and Central Otago was considered to be too cold and too far south for commercial viticulture. He wanted to do something different with the few acres that he owns and after considering a number of options he thought: why not grapes?

He’d kept temperature readings for a few years and had seen vines growing in very similar conditions in Europe. So in 1981 he ignored expert wisdom at the time and planted an experimental plot. Several varieties, in particularly pinot noir, performed well and from small beginnings the Gibbston Valley vineyard has grown. They produced Central Otago’s first commercial wine in 1987.

An impressive and wonderful career in wine followed, whereby he sold Gibbston Valley and established the Mount Edward winery

From there, in 2004 he semi-retired and started the Wild Irishman label, which produced the 'Three Colleens', named after his three daughters, and later 'Macushla', which means ''My darling, my pulse''.

We are so lucky to have Alan as part of our Kinross family, our team learns so much from him and we love being his exclusive cellar door to Wild Irishman.