2020 Nuffield Scholar profile – Ben McLauchlan

Our Scholars

Ben McLauchlan

2020 Scholar


Living in Rapaura, Marlborough, Ben owns and runs a 102H vineyard growing Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay grapes.

Alongside the vineyard there is also a beef fattening unit, a legacy of the area’s farming origins.

Ben’s Grandfather moved to Rapaura in 1935 and purchased ‘Balvonie’ which forms part of the area Ben farms today – with changes in land use – from Sheep and Beef to Grapes.  This legacy is important to Ben and he is passionate about ensuring the property is passed to future generations in good, preferably better condition.

Ben grew up on a Sheep and Beef farm in Marlborough and witnessed first-hand the wine industry expanding across Marlborough, which in turn led to an interest in viticulture and wine.  Ben studied Commerce, Viticulture and Oneology at university followed by a career in Sales and Marketing in the alcohol industry in New Zealand and the UK.

Ben moved back to Marlborough in 2014 with his family to take up a role in banking with BNZ as a Commercial partner and at the same time becoming involved with the management of the family business started by his grandfather.  He subsequently moved to the Vineyard business full time and now owns and runs the operation.

Ben is Deputy Chair of Marlborough Grape Producers Co-operative and Chair of Rapaura School Board of Trustees.

Ben is focused on guardianship of his family vineyard for future generations by enhancing sustainability through the use of technology found in global primary industries.

New Zealand’s food and fibre sector faces a consumer that has changing expectations. How do New Zealand food and fibre producers develop a growth mindset that allows them to understand the values driving these changing expectations? Once the expectations are known, how do producers then innovate production models to deliver these values?

Download Ben’s report here 

Current employment

General Manager/Owner
Rothay Vineyards

Other Affiliations

Marlborough Grape Growers Cooperative (MGP)

Farmlands Cooperative Society
Board Observer

Ben McLauchlan







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Lincoln University 1997
Postgraduate Diploma – Viticulture and Oenology


University of Canterbury 
Bachelor of Commerce -Management Science

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