Vavasour Home

Our Approach

We create wines that are pure expressions of their varietal designation & the singular terroir of our estate vineyard.

Stu Marfell

Chief Winemaker

Stu was born and raised in the Awatere Valley not far from the Vavasour Vineyard. A graduate of Lincoln University, Canterbury with a Bachelor of Viticulture and Oenology, Stu joined Foley Family Wines in February 2003 as Assistant Winemaker. Stu became our Chief Winemaker in 2007 and was a Finalist at the 2008 & 2009 Young Winemaker of the Year Awards.

Matt Duncan

Marlborough Viticulturist

After growing up on a vineyard in northern Hawkes Bay it was an easy choice for Mat to attend Lincoln University where he graduated with a Diploma in Horticultural Management. Mat joined the Goldwater team in 2007 as Vineyard manager.

Hamish Smith

Assistant Winemaker

Hamish Smith joined the team in 2010, working his way from vintage cellar hand to assistant winemaker. A graduate of Onslow College in Wellington, Hamish spends a lot of time in the cellar focusing on the quality of the wine, ensuring that the final wine blends will stand out from the crowd.

Susan Van Der Pol


Susan Van Der Pol was raised in Blenheim, the centre of Marlborough’s wine industry. In 2002, she was awarded a diploma in Viticulture & Wine Production from Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology. Susan then spent two vintages overseas before returning to New Zealand and joining the Dashwood team as Assistant Winemaker in 2011.

Esme Holdsworth

Lab Supervisor

Esme spent her childhood in Nelson on a rural property where she found a love for the outdoors and formed a special bond with horses. After attending Otago University she went on to earn a post graduate diploma in viticulture and oenology from Lincoln University. From there she began her career as a vintage lab technician at Waimea Estates. She then worked abroad in Germany and eventually returned to Marlborough. Esme now manages the laboratory at Vavasour.