Wine festival re-ignites romance
WITH rolling green hills dwarfed by snow-capped mountains and a crystal-clear blue stream in the foreground, there was no mistaking Gavin and Paula Wilshire had been there before.
The Oahu Vineyards poster, displayed prominently at berardo’s New Zealand Wine Festival on Saturday, depicted the very spot where the couple shared memories as teenage sweethearts 39 years ago.
“As soon as we walked into the venue and saw the Tararua Ranges there was this flashback,” Paula said.
“We spent the evening reminiscing about those days.”
Gavin said the stream was the place they used to go on hot summer days, lie on the warm stones and “hold hands and kiss and carry on”.
Then 17 and 18, the youngsters met in Wellington and because they lived in different suburbs, they chose Oahu as their spot to meet.
While life took them their separate ways, they reconnected when Paula Googled Gavin after finding out he had tried to contact her in New Zealand.
“At the time I was happily married, but when I found out I was divorced, so I looked for him online,” she said.
The Gavin Wilshire she found was a pilot, but ironically, he had also done a search for his name and found the Gavin that Paula was looking for.
He passed on Gavin’s email address and the couple quickly fell back in love.
They were married at Castaways Beach in September and have moved to Noosa.
“The wine festival had a romantic connection. We courted in that area and life took us in different walks of life, now we are here in Noosa drinking wine from the new vineyard set up where we spent our youth,” Gavin said.