CH Jenkins Contracting
INTRODUCING CURTIS JENKINS
Surrounded by Marlborough’s mountainous landscape, we visited Curtis Jenkins at one of Pernod Ricard’s vineyards based in Renwick, where he showed us how to replace a strainer post. Strainer installations make up the majority of his workload across a wide range of Marlborough-based vineyards.
Curtis is a qualified builder, and after receiving his qualification, he moved to Tahiti for seven years where he and his wife established their own building business and started a family. The pair and their two kids decided to move back to Marlborough, where Curtis was born and raised, to be closer to his family. Curtis got in contact with an old friend who did wiring work and got a job with him, tying off thousands of knots over the two years he worked there.
A lightbulb moment happened when Curtis saw a lot of broken strainer posts that weren’t getting repaired for a while. “I had a little digger at home and thought I could do the whole job myself, the wiring and post installations, and have a good crack at it,” he said.
Pernod Ricard and Constellation were some of the first vineyards to take Curtis on as a contractor. “It was perfect timing and I hit the ground running. The work just seems to keep evolving and rolling forward.” Soon, Curtis is going to be doing a lot of new vineyard redevelopment work and pulling out a lot of posts without damaging them. He recycles a lot of his products but also knows when it’s worth using new material due to quality and longevity purposes.
Curtis has been a vineyard contractor for six years and doesn’t consider himself a fencer because he admires the craftsmanship and dedication it takes to build those beautiful straight-line fences. He does, however, do vineyard work and thinks he does it pretty well. “When you’re working as a builder, you’re dealing with people who have a bit of money and want it to go as far as they can take it. This can cause a lot of tension, and so building was stressful. I love building, I like making things with my hands and now the work that I do is simple, relaxing and very rewarding – the people that I work with are bloody good.”