Ashton Ireland, Managing Director

Ash Avatar 2

Ash created the Hãhã wine brand in 2011, utilising his diverse experience from a leading New Zealand winery, a renowned high fashion company, and an award-winning retailer.

Ash gained an extensive background in global wine marketing and basic winemaking with a top Hawke’s Bay wine company.  Combined with his earlier Accounting degree from Massey University and experience as Financial Controller in the 1990’s-2000’s, these credentials provide a sound grounding to build our rapidly growing New Zealand wine label.

Ash is always keen to include some fun in the mix, especially if it works up a sweat like mountain biking, and his mountain bike often accompanies him as Ash shares his passion for Hãhã wines around the globe.

His favourite wine quote is:  “My favourite wine-pairing experience is wine and friends” (Anon).


Office direct dial: +64 6 833 7859
Mobile: +64 21 426577


Amber Blakesley, NZ National Sales Manager

Amber BlakesleyWhen Amber travelled South East Asia and Europe, she visited Tuscany where she fell in love with everything wine and came home to study wine marketing. She has both a wine marketing diploma and business diploma majoring in marketing.

Amber joined the Hãhã team after years of experience in the wine industry and in various business roles and industries which spans over 20 years.  In recent years she has had success within the wine industry in sales, wine brokerage, management and marketing roles.  Her diverse background gives her the distinct ability to be flexible and understand our customers businesses on many levels, from service through to management which benefits our customers.  She thinks outside the box, goes the extra mile and is passionate about looking after our Hãhã customers.  She’s been enthusiastically described by one of our customers as ‘old school with a contemporary twist” in that she believes in follow through, is a big believer in relationships and uses technology and new school ways of managing and solving problems.  Amber has that type of personality that creates long time loyal customers who often turn into friends. If you wish to stock Haha wines and help your business grow, call or email Amber.

Amber has this bizarre knack of predicting wines that end up winning awards. She enjoys heading to the beach, camping, roller coasters, cruising on her bike and definitely everything good in life … food, company, wine and a good laugh!

Her favourite wine quote is: “It doesn’t matter if the glass is half empty or half full…..there is clearly room for more wine!” (Anon).

Office direct dial: +64 6 833 7856
Mobile: +64 21 426589


Jen Cho, Marketing, Operations & Administration

Jen joined the team in Dec 2016 and brings with her a wealth of experience in marketing and sales in the wine, juice, hospitality, export and tourism industries, and has successfully established and run her own bar and restaurant.  She has also done three vintages in the wine industry.  Combined with her Bachelor of Wine Science and Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing degrees, she fits in perfectly with the Hãhã team.

She will be looking after all things marketing, planning, logistics, orders and accounts.  And probably some other things too.

Jen doesn’t like to take life too seriously, and just loves food, wine (and beer) – which is why she lives in sunny Hawke’s Bay!

Office direct dial: +64 6 833 7850
Mobile: +64 21 707474


John Belsham, Hãhã Consultant Winemaker

John BelshamJohn has 35 years of wine industry experience, and owns the winemaking consulting group, Wine Focus Ltd.  He is an international winemaker, businessman, consultant and critic.

John began his wine career in 1977 in Bordeaux, France, with a winemaking apprenticeship, then returned to New Zealand as assistant winemaker at Nobilo Vintners in the early 1980’s. He worked as wine maker at Matua Valley, then moved to Hunter Vines, Marlborough in the late 1980’s, as winemaker. John established Rapaura Vintners in 1991, and founded his own label, Foxes Island Wines, in 1992.

John is the Wine Panel Chair for Australasia’s leading food and wine magazine, Cuisine, and has held the role of Wine Consultant to Air New Zealand since July 2000.  He is a founding member and current Chair of the New Zealand Screw Cap Initiative, and has held a number of board positions and advisory roles, as well as speaking at conferences.


Emma Lowe, one of our Winemakers

Emma LoweEmma’s interest in wine began as a teenager when she moved to Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand’s second largest grape growing area.  In 2006, she graduated with a degree in winemaking from Adelaide University in Australia.

Emma has worked in wineries all over the world, including Australia, Switzerland, South Africa, France, and Chile.  Living in Chile for three years, it became her second home:  she worked for a family owned winery, and then moved on to manage one of the wineries of Santa Helena, part of Chile’s 2nd largest winery group, San Pedro.

Emma has now settled back in Hawke’s Bay, bringing her (now) husband, Marcelo with her.  Together with her parents, she planted the grapes, designed and built her own winery, and started her own label, Monowai.  She has also started a family, and their two young children love to help out!

Her favourite wine quote is: “A meal without wine is like a day without sunshine” (Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin).


Gary Duke, one of our Winemakers

Gary DukeGary Duke is the Winemaker of our fantastic Brut Cuvee.  Gary has a long and illustrious career in the wine industry, and is an expert in sparkling and still white wines.  He began his career in the wine industry in 1981, as an Assistant Winemaker at Tisdalls Wines in Echuca, Victoria.

Gary recently stepped aside from his role as Chief Winemaker for Hunter’s in Marlborough, after 25 years at the helm of the winemaking team.  His wine making talents enabled Hunters to reap numerous awards and accolades, with each vintage winning either a gold medal or a trophy, so Gary has a well deserved reputation as one of New Zealand’s leading Winemakers.