We are family

Astrobale’s Waghorn family. (Left to right) Finn Scott-Kelly; Arabella Waghorn; Jane Forrest-Waghorn holding Betty Levett; Simon Waghorn; Libby Waghorn Levett holding Mac Levett; Peter Levett holding Jane Levett. (Photo: Supplied by Astrolabe wines)

An increasing number of family wineries are being offered for sale because no one in the family is prepared to take over the business. The scenario often goes like this: Mum and dad invest their nest egg in a winery and vineyard. Their children witness them working 60-80 hours a week for a modest return. When it is time to retire no one is willing to pick up the reins.

“When you create a business from scratch, it becomes intrinsically linked to your values, your daily life and family.” – Jane Forrest-Waghorn

When Jane Forrest-Waghorn and Simon Waghorn started Astrolabe 22 years ago they owned half the company, while another couple who were old friends from university owned the other half.

Now their youngest daughter, Arabella; middle daughter Libby Levett and Libby’s husband, Peter, have bought investors’ shares. The Waghorn family owns the company outright. Simon remains as winemaker, Jane as general manager and Arabella as brand manager. Next year, Libby and Peter will join the family team.

“When you create a business from scratch, it becomes intrinsically linked to your values, your daily life and family. Our girls have grown up in the wine industry. It is so exciting to have them stepping up and committing to our business. I am enormously proud to have a team of clever, hardworking, young women alongside me,” says Jane, mother and general manager.

This is good news for wine drinkers and especially sauvignon blanc lovers. We can expect the flow of excellent Astrolabe wines to continue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *