About Funny French Cars, Central Otago Wine Tour Operators
Funny French Cars began out of an experience. I’ll start at the beginning.
Deane can trace back 5 generations of family in the Wanaka and Hawea region on both sides of his grandparents. Earlier families were high-country farmers and rabbiters.
Many of his relations still live here with quite a number still farming, and rabbiting too, so we can bring a bit of local knowledge with us.
At the age of 3yrs, Deane’s family moved to New Caledonia and he grew up on a French tropical Island, speaking and schooling in French until he was 16 yrs old and his family returned to Wanaka, where he finished his last 2 years of school.
Deane initially trained as a car painter and stonemason, but due to injury has retrained as a sign writer. He is also an established artist and has 2 pieces of work at The Maze and Puzzling World, plus plus many places around town. Deane is also a keen sailor
At least 17 years ago we saw a Citroen 2CV come up for sale we joked about buying it for a laugh, one never knows whats around the corner!
We were invited to join a casual group of fellow 2CV owners who would go on rallies (raids ) around NZ for a week – 10 days and generally we would visit a winery or 2 and enjoy a picnic lunch amid the vines whilst a keen photographer would continually get us to rearrange the cars for photos.
The idea of offering this experience grew from these raids whilst sitting in the vineyards, tasting and picnicking with the sound of a 2CV putting around was so special we decided we would like others, without access to the cars, to be able to enjoy this experience and hence the creation of Funny French Cars Wine Tours.
I have spent my childhood and life horse-riding the hills and valleys of Wanaka and Central Otago. I trained as a chef and worked in what was then THC in Wanaka (now Wanaka Hotel) and a variety of other businesses.
We have 2 teenage boys who went to Hawea Flat school and now attend Mt Aspiring College.
We are fortunate to live on a lifestyle block with our animals, milking cows and sheep, horses, hens, dogs cats and of course the boys!
We love showing visitors around the region and our favourite places, the wines are a bonus and such a range of gorgeous, award winning wines.
We have learnt so much from the many visitors we have met and made so many friends and look forward to meeting many, many more.
Julie and Deane