Lachlan Mcleod (Lockie) is a 20 year old male, who at age 16 and attending high school, established a Holdfast Estate. He identified a wine growing enterprise as a worthy and much needed venture for the area.
Lockie has single handily entrepreneurd and financed this enterprise. This is an impressive result from such a young person who while working on this business enterprise has also managed to work full time as an apprentice builder. With the assistance and support of his family Lockie planted 1,200 vines. These vines are made up of Pinot Gris, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Malbec Varieties. In the near future it is planned to plant additional varietal strains to boost the vineyard crop and increase production.
In 2016 Lockie produced the first vintage of the only commercial size vineyard in the Dargaville area. Whilst this vintage was small in terms of production the quality was of a high standard, according to the experts. This was proven when soil tests were taken, the results were impressive for a fledgling operation. This quantity of vines has produced 3,500 bottles of merlot, 1000 Pinot Gris and 1000 Rose for 2015-2016 season.
Currently the grapes, once harvested are sent to Marsden Estate in Keikeri for processing. Once this processing/wine making has been completed, bottling takes place at Pleasant Valley Wines in Henderson, Auckland. This reliance on the established market leaders is very necessary to ensure quality is of the highest standard.
Holdfast Estate is the first ever vineyard of its type for the area. Lockie’s dream for the future is for Holdfast to become a fully-fledged and operational wine growing venture. This will include the associated facilities, wine sampling and shop, restaurant, wedding and reception venue. To gain a greater understanding of the art of wine making Lockie plans to train and become a Vintner.
The establishment of this enterprise will have a significant and positive impact on the growth of the local economy and local businesses. It will offer opportunities for additional jobs in the wine industry and the Dargaville community. There will be opportunities to train on the job and become proficient in all aspects of the wine industry. The estate will provide a much needed interest and leisure pursuit for visitors to the area, assisting to grow the Tourism dollars in Dargaville/environs and across the Northland region.
His hope is that this in turn will encourage other potential wine enthusiasts to invest in the industry and provide multiple enterprises for the district, also assisting to further grow the economy.