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Rock Ferry Close Up: Introducing Vineyard Manager Tomas Krovoza

What started out as a ‘gap year’ from his studies in Prague turned Tomas’ life upside down …. literally. 

His childhood was spend growing up in a village in Czech Republic close to the German border.  He then moved to Prague to start his university degree in Building Engineering.  After four years of intense study Tomas was ready for a break so set off to spend 12 months back-packing around the world before returning to complete his degree.

Landing in New Zealand in December 2018, Tomas came to Marlborough to look up an old friend from Czech Republic who had settled here.  His friend happened to be a friend of the late Peter Franks, Rock Ferry’s Vineyard Manager at the time.  Peter was needing help in the vineyards and took Tomas although his English was, in his own words, “very limited.”  Already a man of the land, Tomas was keen to work for a small family-owned vineyard that was passionate about organic principles.  Tomas is extremely grateful to Peter Franks who he says, “was extremely patient with me and if I did not understand his English was visually demonstrate what was required.“  Under Peter’s tutelage Tomas worked his first vintage in 2019.  

He has continued to develop his skills and has no desire to return home. His Mum came to visit in January 2020 (just before Covid hit) and he announced he was not returning to the Czech Republic. Tomas loves life in Marlborough so much he is planning to apply for residency in March (we wish you luck!).  Tomas loves fishing, hiking, exploring, and camping in his down time – definitely suitable to become a Marlburian.

*Photograph by Richard Briggs