Business in focus: Ghost Rock Vineyard
"We wouldn’t want to be anywhere else"
“To be able to chase our ambitions the way we are doing now – we wouldn’t be able to do this in Melbourne. And to be able to do this every day is the best part of it. No two days are the same. We wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.” – Justin Arnold.
After a decade in Melbourne-based corporate roles, couple Justin Arnold and Alicia Peardon made the move to north western Tasmania in 2015. With a bundle of joy on the way, the time was right for Justin to bring Alicia home to Ghost Rock Vineyard, a business founded by his parents Cate and Colin.
“There was an old homestead at the vineyard we knew we could turn into a beautiful family home,” says Justin. “Fundamental to our move was to get heavily involved in the business: developing the vineyard and building the new winery and Hundred Acres for food and wine workshops. We could see the potential that Tasmania had. In the wine industry, opportunities are boundless.”
Justin and Alicia have been busy driving significant new developments at the vineyard including a new commercial winery, and establishing the Hundred Acres project to run food and wine workshops. The winery also has a number of new vineyards coming online, which are set to double production capacity.
“Dad runs the vineyard, Mum does the books and cellar door, Alicia the marketing and runs Hundred Acres, and myself – the winery,” explains Justin of this family-run machine. The team also see the Tasmanian north west community as their family more broadly, and are proud to be part of, and contribute to, the local area.
The young couple bring international experience to their rural landscape, including Alicia’s CV which boasts six and a half years as CEO with Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food. The move to Tasmania is continuing that journey, as Alicia notes, “… I feel we can continue to play a role in the community, holding events that bring people through the gates of Ghost Rock to learn and share.”
Justin also brings significant skills and experience in the wine industry, which extends from his first vintage in the Margaret River region, through to the Yarra Valley, Napa in California and his time in Burgundy, France.
Travel and learning is an exciting part of the business. This includes the recent trip to northern Italy and Champagne in France, to shop for some equipment for the winery, with the couple’s baby Poppy in tow.
Justin and Alicia are comfortable about the move and taking charge of the opportunities in front of them in Tasmania. “We saw the opportunity to create a work-life balance that was really appealing. The opportunities are limitless. It will be whatever we make it.”