Wairau River - Marlborough, New Zealand
Phil and Chris Rose were pioneers of the wine industry in this now famous Wairau Valley in Marlborough.
In 1978, Phil & Chris Rose planted the first vines at what is now known as the Home Block, on the edge of the Wairau River at Blenheim, in Marlborough, New Zealand.
The vines loved the stony but fertile soil. They loved being close to the river. They thrived in the harsh Marlborough summers and uncompromising winters. The Roses loved it too. That first vineyard grew to become 14 vineyards; today Wairau River Wines is one of New Zealand’s most highly regarded and successful wine producers, and exporting its wines to customers all over the world.
Growing up on a vineyard certainly rubbed off on the Rose children. Today all of them have important roles in the family business. In an industry where intergenerational involvement is not unusual, the Rose family is something else again.
Sam Rose is Wairau River’s Head Winemaker. His brother Hamish is the Viticulturalist, and his partner Kristy handles HR. Eldest daughter Pip runs the restaurant and cellar door operations, while her husband Parky is CEO. Caroline and her chef partner Tane are responsible for the incredible food offering at the vineyard restaurant. Anna and her husband Paul grow grapes for Wairau River Wines on their beautiful Grovetown property.
These days Phil & Chris are able to relax a bit more and watch the new generation of Roses take Wairau River Wines to the next stage of its journey - and they have time do a bit of the travelling that got them so hooked on becoming winemakers in the first place.
Marlborough is well known for its Sauvignon Blanc but at Wairau they are constantly looking to expand their range of vines planted and this includes Albarino and Viognier, both from estate vineyards. Wairau River maintains total commitment to quality by carefully managing these vineyards to keep yields low and produce quintessential wines that reflect this prominent region.