About Us

Queensberry Sub-Region

Central Otago is world renowned for Pinot Noir, but we grow stunning whites here as well. Our cool climate and subsequent lower tonnages produce highly aromatic white wines of intense concentration.

The Queensberry sub-region, one of the newest to be planted, in Central Otago has established five vineyards to date. Planting began in 2003

Our People

The Harker Family

Between us we have lived in more than a dozen countries and have travelled through a lot more. We talk to everyone and so have a lot of experiences to draw from. Our venture, which started in Bannockburn, and now here at Queensberry enables us to keep meeting people and sharing stories & experiences.

We are pretty much self- taught, but we can’t ignore the fact that living in this area you absorb a lot of information from the environment around you. People here talk endlessly about the vines and about wine; and are pretty happy to help and share information.

Dean Harker

Owner

Owner, Executive Chef, Engineer, Wine Maker, Viticulturist

Diana Harker

Owner

Cellar Door Manager, Landscape Gardener, Viticulturist

Jack Harker

Trainee

Chef, Engineer, Wine Maker, Viticulturist, Landscape Gardener

Our Mentors

Jeff Sinnott

Vinesense

Consultant Viticulturist

Chris & Jenny Hill

Lochaburne

Owners of Lochaburne Station

John McKendry

AgNutri

Soil manager

Our Journey

Wine Press on its way

Our Friends in Germany have done us proud. A second hand press in excellent condition had been found. A new bladder has been fitted and she is due to arrive in time for Christmas.

10 Year Celebration

As of September 2018, 10 years after we brought the sheep paddock, Queensberry Gardens (LazyDog®) Wines & Garden Restaurant is the final stage in our ambition to be self-supporting on a rural Central Otago property.

Bringing the physical wine-making home to our site, for the 2019 vintage, is a natural progression as we move to the final stages of a project that started over 13 years ago.

February 2018
Winery

Friends retired after 25 years of restaurant operation in February 2018 and released to us the refrigeration units we needed to start a small winery on-site. We purchased barrels and Dean made the VCR tanks in between cooking our guest’s fillet steaks and wine platters.

All manner of pumps, hoses, and specialist wine making equipment was ordered and we pretended not to notice the dramatic effect on our bank balance.
The roof structure is assembled, concreted in and will receive its cladding in time for the 2019 vintage.

In the 2018 vintage we took 6.5 tonnes of grapes from our vineyards and made 7 wines on our own premises, under the strict direction and “hands-on” participation of our long term wine consultant and friend Jeff Sinnott:

  • Queensberry Wines® – “Reserve” Chenin Blanc 
  • Queensberry Wines® – “Barrel Fermented ” Chenin Blanc 
  • LazyDog® – “Queensberry” Chenin Blanc
  • LazyDog® – “Sweet on Chenin” Later Harvest Chenin Blanc
  • LazyDog® – “Chenin Over a Barrel” Chenin Blanc
  • LazyDog® – “Shady Lady” Rose 
  • LazyDog® – “Blown Away” Gewürztraminer
February 2018
October 2016
Pinot Noir

It was time to take the plunge and increase our plantings. We cleared the sheep paddock out front, put up the trellis and commenced the North Star and Southern Cross blocks. It was time to make our own Chardonnay, Rose and Pinot Noir.

Extend the floral garden with further plantings of bulbs.

October 2016
November 2010
Extended Plantings

In goes the 226 Gewürztraminer plants, enough for two – three barrels, and some test rows of Chardonnay. We added a second variety of Chenin Blanc to the LazyDog® Block

November 2010
November 2009
Vegetable & Herb garden

Establish modest vegetable garden (tomatoes, onions, garlic, pumpkins) Plant Herbs.

November 2009
November 2008
First Plantings

In September 2008 we took up the opportunity to invest in our own bit of “dirt” in Central Otago and the first stage of Queensberry Gardens & the LazyDog® Vineyard was underway.

Vineyard

Chenin Blanc Grapes: The first ½ hectare, 900 vines

Edible Garden
  • Olives – a Grove of four varieties, 80 trees in total
  • Berries – Raspberries, Blackberries, English Gooseberries & Strawberries
  • Nuts: pecans, almonds and Hazels
  • Fruit: Crab Apples, Apples, Quince, Feijoas, Peaches, Lemons, Limes, Currants,
Floral Garden

Establishment of the floral garden and outdoor eating area, roses, Bearded Iris, Dutch Iris, Lily, delphinium, peoni, Pittosporum, Carex Grasses, Native Beech, Claret Ash, Golden Elm, Shimadzu, ti kouka,

November 2008
October 2008
The Building

We laid the slab for our modern woolshed replica building. The build was completed in 11 weeks and we moved the business up the road to Queensberry region, in time to open Boxing Day 2008.

October 2008
September 2008
The Move

In September 2008 we took up the opportunity to invest in our own bit of “dirt” in Central Otago and the first stage of Queensberry Gardens & the LazyDog® Vineyard was underway.

Vineyard

Chenin Blanc Grapes: The first ½ hectare, 900 vines

Edible Garden
  • Olives – a Grove of four varieties, 80 trees in total
  • Berries – Raspberries, Blackberries, English Gooseberries & Strawberries
  • Nuts: pecans, almonds and Hazels
  • Fruit: Crab Apples, Apples, Quince, Feijoas, Peaches, Lemons, Limes, Currants,
Floral Garden

Establishment of the floral garden and outdoor eating area, roses, Bearded Iris, Dutch Iris, Lily, delphinium, peoni, Pittosporum, Carex Grasses, Native Beech, Claret Ash, Golden Elm, Shimadzu, ti kouka,

September 2008
March 2005
In the beginning...

Our LazyDog® is symbolic of the change in Central Otago from sheep farm to include the modern wine farm, giving rise to the first stage of our business, based initially in Bannockburn, and marketing our neighbour’s wines.

We came back from Guernsey in January 2005 and started the restaurant in Bannockburn next to the Akarua vineyard in March 2005. We had 9 weeks to wait for the property so I worked on an orchard and Dean worked for Robin Dicey at Grape Vision. It took about three weeks for Dean to become convinced he wanted his own vineyard !!!

Once we started the business and settled in and we quickly made friends with many of our customers, many of whom were involved in the wine industry one way or another! Whilst we were completely independent of Akarua in a commercial sense, they were right next door so we could hardly avoid becoming immersed in the wine industry. It was all around us.

So in a nutshell we have learned everything about wine that we know so far from;

  • Family
  • Working on Friends vineyards, to help out pruning and harvesting
  • Reading loads of books, articles, surfing the net fro information, talking to nurseries etc.
  • Planting grapes and growing them ourselves at Queensberry
  • Our friends many of whom are vineyard owners, viticulturists and/or wine makers, particularly Chris Hill of Locharburn – one of our 6 business partners. There are a lot of other people who have contributed to our learning and this should never be underestimated. We asked so many questions and they answered them all!
  • Talking day in and day out with other growers & wine makers
  • Talking with Sales Reps from Fertiliser companies

After the first year in Bannockburn we set out to buy our own property and develop a self sufficiency based life-style. It took until September 2008 to develop the business model, find the land, and secure additional finance.

March 2005