Apprentice 6: Jono Poswillo from Allan Scott

Publish Date
Thursday, 3 June 2021, 11:50AM

Meet Marlborough Apprentice #6, Jono Poswillo from Allan Scott Family Winemakers!

Some say he can drive with his eyes closed, others reckon he got his skills from playing Mario Kart, all we know is that his name is Jono and he sometime drives colleagues crazy.

Why did you get into your industry?

I was hoping to go into flying school to go down the aviation career pathway. To everyone's surprise Covid decided to come along and grounded those plans for me. After having a hard and long thought on what other industry I could go into, viticulture and winemaking stood out the most.

I was lucky enough to have landed a job piloting the harvester for Allan Scott over vintage. This was an amazing opportunity and I suspect there are not many people that went straight into a harvester for the first vintage and first day on the job and especially being 18!

This then led to a full-time apprenticeship which isn’t like any other. I get to try my hands on different aspects of operations, from dispatching of the wine, bottling, labelling anything around the cellar, vineyard work, working behind the bar in the restaurant. For me, being able to understand how everything works is a great skill in itself and that is why I am enjoying it so much. #Jonoofalltrades, master of somm.

In summary, it's a fully hands-on role that starts from the growing of the grapes right up until it’s in my glass.

How long have you been in your industry?

I started with Allan Scott Family Winemakers mid to late February this year so it’s only been a few months.

Highlights of working in your industry?

Highlight would be driving the harvester. Absolutely blown away that I was given control of such a large and very complex machine! If you could imagine sitting 4-5 meters up in the air (day or night) and navigating a $500k machine straight into the row with only a 18cm margin of error, keeping an eye on the camera, getting lost in the maze of buttons (only at first of course) and your boss looking at your every move from the other side. There is a lot on the line, pun intended!

About Allan Scott Family Winemakers:

As one of the first independent wineries to be establish in Marlborough in 1990, Allan Scott Family Winemakers have made a name for themselves in this highly competitive industry.

Allan has nearly 40 years in the wine business, which makes him one of the most experienced people in Marlborough when it comes to growing, making and marketing wine. When Allan and his wife Catherine decided to settle here in 1973, (Cathy is a fifth-generation Marlburian) Allan took a job with Montana working in their new vineyards.

In 1980 he was head-hunted by Corbans to oversee the establishment of their Marlborough vineyards. He soon became their Senior Viticultural Manager, which not only gave him responsibility for the company’s entire national grape intake but led him to become part of the winemaking team.

All this stood him in good stead for the family’s foray into winemaking. Back then, there weren’t any boutique wineries to speak of in Marlborough. In 1975 Allan and Catherine purchased a block of land and got into contract growing. Then, when the first independent winemakers started to emerge in Marlborough, Allan and Catherine were in a position to become a part of this new era in New Zealand’s wine industry.

In 1990, they launched Allan Scott Wines. Allan remembers it well. “We were one of a small number who made up the first wave of the independents.” The Allan Scott winery has seen some changes since then. Over the 30 years since its inception, the winery has evolved to keep ahead of the changing demands from the market.


Join us at Moa Brewery Cellar Door on Friday June 11th from 3:30PM and watch Jono compete in a variety of challenges for the title of Marlborough Apprentice and the $1,000 prize money, plus an NZME advertising package for his business! 

Thanks to NMIT - Kick-start your career as an apprentice with NMIT!