Many wine enthusiasts dream about owning a vineyard. Few turn those musings into reality. When Arlington resident Beth Ann Dahan, 47, tells people that she, her husband, and a business partner purchased 60 acres of vines in New Zealand, and recently produced 1,100 cases of pinot noir, people invariably ask, “Why New Zealand?”
Dahan, a wine educator at Boston University, explains that she and her husband, Arié, 43, who grew up in Paris, fell in love with the pristine beauty of Central Otago, on the South Island of New Zealand. They were impressed with the energetic wines produced there and the tight-knit community of sustainability-minded growers. Looking to turn their passion for wine into a new venture (Arié Dahan and business partner Max Risman, 42, work together in finance) the three launched Vela Wines in 2011. The company is named for a constellation shaped like ship sails, seen in the Southern Hemisphere.