Inspired by the beauty of New Zealand and its stunning wines, Leigh and David Teece founded Mt. Beautiful Wines in the North Canterbury region of New Zealand in 2004. Rather than settling in one of North Canterbury’s proven wine growing areas, the Teeces pioneered a previously undiscovered area of the region - the picturesque district of Cheviot Hills. Here they built one of New Zealand’s rising star wineries.
After earning first class honors in the subject at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, David Teece moved to the United States where he completed his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to being the Tusher professor of global business at the University of California Berkeley, David is a founder of the well-respected Berkeley Research Group LLC.
Leigh Teece is quite accomplished as well, having graduated with a Masters in Business Administration from the highly-acclaimed Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and cum laude with a Bachelors Degree in International Relations from her father's alma mater, the University of Southern California. Leigh is a native Californian who grew up working in a real estate family in Southern California, followed by educational research in Michigan, international banking in San Francisco and venture capital in Silicon Valley. While raising four children, Leigh branched into mentoring, innovation and advising.
Needless to say, Leigh and David have been very successful in their various endeavors, so when they decided to start a winery in New Zealand, there was no question it would be something spectacular. Building the family winery was Leigh’s idea. She longed to participate in the artistic culture of New Zealand that embraces the vibrant wine industry, and she was inspired by the beauty of her family's new, second homeland. Entrepreneurs at heart and not wanting to follow in others’ footsteps, they brought together a team of experts and charged them with finding a new sub-region capable of producing premium wines. They decided that North Canterbury on New Zealand's South Island provided the ideal terroir.
The Cheviot Hills wine region of North Canterbury was thus born. Under the guidance of consulting viticulturist Murray Paterson and geologist Ron Sutherland, the first vines planted in 2004 were Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Riesling. The Teeces named their vineyard Mt. Beautiful after a remarkable nearby landmark and the new family business was on its way. Honored in the design of the labels for Mt. Beautiful was David’s father, Allan Teece, who served with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in North Africa, Palestine and Italy from 1940 to 1945. The meticulous handwritten letters that Allan sent home during those precarious years served as the inspiration for the label and the lettering for ‘Mt. Beautiful’ was crafted from his precious, well-preserved letters. The first vintage of Mt. Beautiful fruit was harvested in 2007.
Mt. Beautiful's first vintage was released in September of 2008. The public immediately knew they had something special. Being the first of its kind in a new wine region, Mt. Beautiful realized a competitive edge on other New Zealand wines as they were honored country-wide. Much of the credit can be given to the exceptional team Leigh and David assembled to be the force behind the Mt. Beautiful brand. When they embarked on this new journey, the Teeces put together a group of local experts in every field needed and their efforts have paid off. From their veteran winemaker Sam Weaver and his son, Ben, to internationally recognized vineyard management, the quality of Mt. Beautiful’s wine and its team was as good as it gets.
Mt. Beautiful's quality is reflected in the beauty and character of the vineyard. Respect for the land and local community are of utmost importance at Mt. Beautiful. It is a paramount goal to achieve a sustainable functioning landscape that can be enjoyed and utilized for generations to come. All the ingredients continue to manifest at Mt. Beautiful, and no where is it more prevalent than in its consistent releases of award-winning, highly rated wines. It goes without saying that Mt. Beautiful wines, now sold in 40 states in the U.S. and several countries globally, have a glowing future around the world.