Wilson's Orchards

Des & Lesley Wilson

Desmond and Lesley bought the original 12 hectare family stonefruit orchard of parents, Jesse and Nola, back in 1987. The first apple trees were planted that year. Since that time the operation has grown, as has their family, with their three children now well into adulthood.

Having grown up in orcharding their children are an integral to the operation with two working directly in the family business. The Wilson family's roots in horticulture and agriculture span six generations in New Zealand.

  • Orchard Name: Wilson's Orchards
  • Owners & Operators: Des & Lesley Wilson
  • Location: Dartmoor Valley, Puketapu, Hawke's Bay
  • Size: 43ha over 3 properties
  • Varieties: Gem, Galaxy, Royal Gala, NZ Queen, Braeburn

A Family Affair

Since purchasing the original block, Des and Lesley have added two additional orchards and a vineyard to the growing operation. Their son Alex manages the day-to-day operation while daughter Stephanie has recently taken on the role of Logistics and Inventory Specialist at the Mt Erin Packhouse

The Wilson’s maintain a philosophy of working as a team with the aim of growing the best apples in the world, making use of the ideal Hawke’s Bay climate. Being hands-on, the are able to focus on the finer details in order to grow exceptional apples.

Wilson's Apples

The harvest begins in early February and continues through to early May. The Wilsons grow their apples in the gorgeous Dartmoor Valley where the fertile soils have been laid down over hundreds and thousands of years by the Tūtaekurī River. The valley's climate is perfect for producing high-coloured, crisp, sweet, and juicy apples. Cool nights and days with plenty of sun form the perfect environment to produce the perfect apple.

The Wilsons strive for continuous improvement and are enjoying working with exciting new varieties. Des and Lesley were amongst the first growers to adopt the world-class New Zealand Integrated Fruit Production system in the late 1980s, further enabling them to grow top quality apples in the wonderful Hawke's Bay climate.

Wilson's Orchards in the future

With the Wilsons' children actively involved in the business, the orchard will be in good hands, managed by people who grew up with the family business. The Wilsons will continue to look for ways to improve quality and sustainability and make the most use of the wonderful Hawke’s Bay climate, the fresh clear water and fertile soils of the region.

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