Wairau River Wines takes its name from the river on whose banks Phil and Chris Rose planted their first vines in 1978, Wairau being the Maori name for ‘many waters’. The Rose family were pioneers in the now prestigious Rapaura district, their foresight recognising the potential for the region’s free draining stony soil and abundantly pure artesian water.
After supplying grapes for other producers for several years, Phil and Chris decided in 1991 to release a wine under their own label and so the Wairau River label was born. Wairau River produces the majority of its wine as Sauvignon Blanc including an excellent Reserve range that has been fermented in 4 & 5 year old French oak barrels (and only produced in limited quantities).
Current production also includes Chardonnay, Riesling, and a very good Botrytised Riesling. The 2005 Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc was awarded gold at the 2006 New Zealand Easter Show, the Air New Zealand Wine Awards, and the 2005 Liquorland Top 100.
Wairau River wines are available direct from the winery, by mailorder and internet, from good wine outlets and are exported to over 20 countries including USA, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Germany, France, Spain, Denmark, Holland and Switzerland.