Medal-Winning Weightlifter Heading Minnesota Wine Subsidiary
Former weightlifter and two-time Commonwealth medal winner New Zealander Nigel Avery, 46, is these days marketing his family’s wine in Minnesota. Last year, Avery assumed the role of CEO for the subsidiary Sileni Estates USA.
Avery’s father Graeme launched Sileni Estate in the Hawkes Bay in 1997. The winery, named after a man-horse who served as a tutor to the Greek wine god Dionysus, “was a little retirement project for my dad that kind of got a little bit out of hand” in its growth, Avery said.
Sileni’s offerings provide great value in the $12 to $15 range. The sauvignon blanc is a bit rounder and more balanced than most New Zealand renditions; the chardonnay and pinot gris show lovely fruit at just the right ripeness and with minimal intervention, and the pinot noir has lovely interplay between softness and tartness.
As well as weightlifting Avery represented New Zealand at international competition in track and field and bobsledding. He participated in the 2000 Olympics and won two gold medals at the 2002 Commonwealth Games as a weightlifter.
Original article by Bill Ward, Star Tribune, February 26, 2014.