Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

What I am drinking, reading and savouring each week


Friday wine with Rachael Carter who loves Fleetwood Mac and loathes wine snobs

Meet entrepreneur Rachael Carter, founder of Soho Wines

Rachael Carter began importing screwcaps to New Zealand a year after declaring that they weren't her preference when it came to wine closures, but within half a decade, they had over taken the wine industry in this country, building a substantial business for her. Despite which, she greatest achievement is her daughter, Maren, whose namesake is a dry Riesling from Marlborough. Carter worked for her father for most of her working life but has now branched out and created the successful Soho Wine brand. 

She adores Fleetwood Mac, loyalty in her friends and her workmates' ability to pull her back to earth when she dives down the occasional rabbit hole. 

Meet the woman behind Soho Wines in this week's Friday drinks interview...

The weekly interview on this website is inspired by the Proust questionnaire.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? 

One hundred per cent, my baby girl, Maren.

What is your current state of mind? 

I had the worst year of my life last year. Three bad things happened to me in a row, I have never had anxiety but boy I experienced it and to be honest I have only just come out of it, so my state of mind would best be described as “in recovery but on the mend.”

What is your favourite part of winemaking? 

I love the way winemakers can take beautifully crafted grapes and add character by using different barrels, different yeasts, different grape clones for blending and other variables, all of which give each different style of wine its own unique personality which includes the vineyard, the winemaker and the wine. I’s all about layers and texture.

Do you have a most treasured wine? 

Yes. My first vintage of our Marlborough Fleetwood Chardonnay from Dad’s vineyard and it is signed by all members of the Fleetwood Mac band. They are my favourite band so it is a real treasure and I will never drink it.

Where is your favourite wine region?

Waiheke Island.

When and where are you at your happiest? 

I am a social beast and I love drinking and eating with my friends and family, whilst listening to great music or watching Married At First Sight.

What do you most dislike in wine?

Wine wankers! You know the type of person who’s been put in charge of doing a wine list and they look down their nose at you. They are the worst thing about this industry. Snobs who have nothing to be snobby about and think they are too cool for school. 

What is your greatest regret? 

I have two personal greatest regrets which will always remain personal however one of them is that I don't live in Sydney. For me, Sydney is Auckland on steroids and I would have loved to have lived there before I had my baby girl when I was a party animal.

What talent would you most like to have?

I would love to play the piano, especially when we are entertaining and the songs come out. Imagine pounding on the keys with your besties singing. Oh and I could go on tour with Fleetwood Mac or Elton John as a sideline.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? 

I would say deep loneliness and the loss of faith that things will get better. This can come in the form of losing someone close to you or being sick. You know when you lose your faith because you are in a state of misery but true faith never leaves you and you have to believe that to get out of it.

What is the trait that you most deplore in yourself?

I go down rabbit holes! In the office when I go down a rabbit hole I do this little rabbit impersonation and the team know where I am headed. I guess I take things to heart and that's when it happens. Luckily, my friends pull me out by my ankles.

What do you most value in your friends?

Their loyalty, unwavering support and sense of humour. Aside from my daughter and Mum, my friends are my absolute world. Through thick and thin, we have been there for each other and most importantly we keep each other in check and laugh at ourselves.

What is your favourite meal?

Lemon meringue pie with cream and hokey pokey ice cream.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing what do you think it would be? 

A rock star or movie star… I love music, television and film..Rachel Weisz thas it all going on and she is married to James Bond so I would love to be her.