Desmond and Lesley Wilson own and operate Wilson and Cotfield orchards. They have been owner-growers since 1987, when they purchased the Wilson home block from Des's parents, in 2005 they added Cotfield to their operation. The Wilson three children grew up on the properties and are integral to the operation. In 2016, Des and Lesley's son, Alex, started the New Zealand Fruitgrowing Apprenticeship and is now a full-time employee tasked with undertaking day-to-day operations, staff management and logistics. Des and Lesley's two daughters maintain a keen interest in the orchard, with Stephanie undertaking a career in agribusiness, and Anna assists in managing internships at the University of Canterbury.
The Wilsons work to their strengths, as a team, striving to grow the best apples in the world under the wonderful Hawke’s Bay climate, the fresh clear water and fertile soils.