Phil and Chris Rose were pioneers of the wine industry in the now famous Wairau Valley in Marlborough. Their foresight, recognising the potential for growing vines in the area's free draining, stony soil conditions led to them first planting grapes on their land back in 1978. After a period supplying grapes for other producers, including Cloudy Bay, in 1991 they decided to start releasing their own wines under their own label. Today they're a well established and respected producer with their winery and cellar door being situated not far from the Wairau River near Renwick in the heart of the region.
They have some of the oldest vines in Marlborough and planted by hand, this is a very much hands on 'family' enterprise with 11 members of the Rose family involved in working the 10 estate vineyards they now own. While Phil and his wife Chris, the founders, are still actively involved, their sons Sam, winemaker, and Hamish, viticulturalist, are also at the heart of operations. Wairau River maintains total commitment to quality by carefully managing their vineyards to keep yields low and produce quintessential wines that reflect this prominent region.
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. And it's quite clearly something that they're doing with a fair degree of success.