RAISING A GLASS TO VILLAGE GO-GETTER
If I was Will McIntosh’s mum, I’d be proud. He is a real go-getter who has combined his passion with good old fashioned hard work, climbing the rungs at Glengarry to arrive in our beautiful village to run the store at 417 Mt Eden Rd. Filling some pretty big shoes left by the previous owners, Will has taken to the challenge with enthusiasm, care and a wicked sense of adventure.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Whanganui, but that was mainly because all the hospitals around Ohakune were closed or at full capacity (laughs). So I grew up in Gisborne and I went to University in Auckland. I was doing a Master of Science focusing on Forensics. Just as I was finishing my Bachelors and deciding what to do next I attended a seminar on the wine science department. The mix of science and arts was amazing – I was sold!
A lion’s share of my family is still in Gisborne. At least once a year we somehow manage to conjugate in one space and have a little catch up. Every time I go back to Gisborne the first thing we do is go to Matawhero or Milton and enjoy some Chardonnay and some sunshine (smiles).
How did you come to work for Glengarry?
I saw an advert for a job at Glengarry in the barista side of the business. Being in my twenties this is where I had the most experience post uni. I jumped into that and over the course of next year the company realised I knew a lot about wine, so they moved me into retail. I just loved it. This led me to managing the Kingsland store and now this lovely little shop in Mount Eden Village. I’ve been here since we took over in October 2018. Beforehand it was the Village Winery, who for 20 years had maintained this beautiful, classic soulful store. Glengarry Wines is all about family and community, so it wasn’t too much of transition. The way they had been doing things were the same way we like to do things. Its cool to go into something with a high expectation. I got straight in there and got to know regular customers, earning their trust. Learning what they like and getting them to sometimes try something new. A few of them have been quite happy to come in and say ‘Will, what am i drinking this weekend’? My favourite customers are the ones that like to explore. It’s a lot of fun.
Do you drink a lot of wine?
Yes, I drink frequently but not a lot. I love the flavours of wine and I would prefer to try small amounts of different wines over the course of the night than to just have two big glasses of the same one. Every wine is a different story, it’s more fun that way. That’s one of the reasons I’m here in the Village as there’s room upstairs perfect for doing tastings. That’s one part of my job that I thoroughly enjoy.
Do you work long hours?
I work 4 days. But they are long days – 10 hours. I like working across all hours of the day as I can really get to know all of my customers. You get to meet everyone when you work both mornings and evenings. Understanding the different people, who come at different times gives me a good knowledge as to what sort of wine to order in and how much staff to roster on.
What do you do outside of work?
I started a Gin club last year (though that’s technically upstairs, but way too fun to be considered work). I’ve been doing it once every 3 months and I realised I should be doing it more frequently as there are so many great Gins out there. In September we are doing our second global Gin Tour night where we try 6 different Gins from 6 different countries. I’m pretty excited for it. And then we’ve got the one in November which we’ll try NZ Gins. Support local!
I live on Waiheke, so I love having friends come over and stay for the weekend. I love to go swimming and get into the salt water. I love to sit on the balcony in the sun, wine in hand and just have a little chat.
Will is just delightful. Super smart and a lot of fun. Best enjoyed with a platter of fine cheese and a crisp Chardonnay – or do I mean earthy Pinot Noir … actually, better ask him, he’s more than happy to help.