New lakeside spot for a drop: Wet Jacket Wines first mate/GM Ali Caird and owner Greg Hay and his dog, Dusky, by their new tasting shed

In a move that floats his boat, the owner of Queenstown’s Wet Jacket Wines has sold his historic woolshed ‘cellar door’ at Lake Hayes and set up at the Frankton marina.

Greg Hay is leasing two side-by-side floating boatsheds for his cellar door and offices.

He feels it’s a natural progression for a water-based brand — named after Wet Jacket Arm in Fiordland’s Dusky Sound — and says the new location offers great views of boats coming and going from the marina as well as aviation activity from the close-by airport and the Remarkables mountains.

Plus it offers great convenience — it’s right by the Frankton walking/cycling trail and handy to a lot of visitor accommodation and trade customers like restaurants, he points out.

‘‘Lake Hayes wasn’t that far, but given current traffic patterns you just can’t guarantee any thing.’’

Hay, who fittingly also has a boat in the marina, says two staff members can now even walk to work — ‘‘our carbon footprint’s dropped’’.

He notes the opportunity to move to the marina came at the same time he was approached to sell his woolshed property by the entrance to high-end Bendemeer.

The new owner, a Kiwi expat based in Western Australia, also has hospitality plans for the venue, he adds.

‘‘The woolshed did an incredible job for an unknown brand — I absolutely pinched myself how lucky I was to have such an iconic piece of real estate and an iconic building, and I still do.

‘‘But sometimes other things pop up in front of you, and a change comes as invigorating and good for the brain.’’

Hay adds the timing’s also good because the boatsheds are finally starting to fill up with a range of activities, so he sees it becoming a destination in its own right.

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