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Rewa Rewa Ridge opening their gates

The view from a hill at Rewa Rewa Station. PHOTOS/GRACE PRIOR

GRACE PRIOR
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Partzia and Rod Vieno are opening their gates at Rewa Rewa Station this weekend.

The 1000-hectare farm will be open to experience, with dog trail demonstrations, bee keeping, and wool spinning.

Pedigree sheep.

As well as being a full operational breeding farm, Partzia Vieno has a few pedigree sheep that she keeps for wool.

Vieno said she and Rod had shifted to their farm in New Zealand from the United Kingdom, where Rod had farming experience and Partzia had been working as an interior designer.

Vieno had a big shift ahead of her, but has never seemed to look back.

Soon after they arrived on the farm in 2011, the region had a once-in-a-generation snow.

Vieno was unphased by the event, thinking it was somewhat normal in comparison to her home in the mountains of Italy.

“I remember taking a photo of everything closed in Masterton when I’d gone to get a coffee.”

Vieno said it hadn’t snowed since, but she’d had a fair share of dry over the summers.

“It’s just what you expect in Wairarapa,” she said.

Last summer had been hard for the farm, but she said they were in a better position with lots of ponds scattered across the farm.

Vieno jumped into the role of farm manager soon after they took on the farm when Rod had a serious quadbike accident.

“He was all the way at the back of the farm, a good 30 minutes’ drive in. I had to drive the quad bike to the back – something I’d never done before – to find him,” she said.

“He broke ribs on both sides, and they said if he did survive he wouldn’t be able to do much – he’s lucky to be still around today.”

Vieno said Rod had to be helicoptered out by Life Flight from the back of the farm, so any proceeds from the open day would be donated to them.

Across the farm you can find romneys, as well as corriedale-cross romneys, gotlands and polwarth sheep.

Romney flock at Rewa Rewa Station.

Vieno is passionate about fibres and runs a flock of about 50 coloured sheep

She also has angora goats, which produce mohair fibres as well as few alpacas.

Aside from the standard living they make from the farm, Vieno is also in the business of selling her speciality fibres.

She said fibres could be purchased separately or blended with the carded wool she has.

Vieno hand dyes her wool in her home studio, which is tucked behind the woolshed.

After a preview on Country Calendar, Vieno has joined with La Lune Sleepwear making hand-knitted socks, with wool produced on her farm.

She said they’d have 150 visitors on the farm on Sunday, many of which would be making the hike from Wellington.

There would be three tour groups throughout the day, one at 10am, one at noon, and one at 2pm.

She said she kept her love for design and had renovated buildings across the farm – including an AirBnb that she rents out.

The cottage was used both for those wanting to stay for a short time but was also available for staff on the farm as they came through.

Partzia Vieno’s naturally coloured wool.

Vieno had always wanted to learn how to spin wool and felt, and has now flourished from her home studio.

She said her pedigree wool sold for more than romney would, and that the wool sale price wouldn’t stretch to cover shearing costs.

“We mostly shear for animal health now, there’s not much more in it.”

Vieno has a busy weekend ahead with her monthly craft day on Saturday, followed by the open farm on Sunday.

  • If you wish to attend the open farm event, you must register at openfarms.co.nz

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