From wool to wine...
Spurred on by fond Queenstown childhood memories, Guy & Ann were keen to set up life in Gibbston and tackle the high country as farmers so they bought into Mt Rosa Station with the Railton family. In 1999 wool prices were declining, sheep breeding and fattening was becoming tough so a call was made to send the sheep off to greener pastures and plant some vines...so began a new story in wine.
Turns out it was a good decision as the challenging and often unforgiving terrain and stony, schist soils that make farming so hard, are great for growing grapes!
The first grapes planted were established Sauvignon Blanc vines from Felton Road which were harvested in 2002. After that came Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris in 2003, and to try something different Pinot Blanc and Gamay Noir were planted.
In 2007 a Cellar Door was opened in the old woolshed on the Mt Rosa Station to provide a place for visitors to come and enjoy Mt Rosa wines.
In 2018, the working Mt Rosa station was sold. The 48 hectares of vineyard was kept, and Ann & Guy picked a perfect place, nestled within the vines and surrounded by mountains, to build a new Cellar Door.
In July 2021, a brand new, purpose-built woolshed style Cellar Door was opened.
"As a nod to our farming roots, we wanted to keep the woolshed style but added a few more 'mod-cons' so we could enjoy it with friends & visitors for years to come." Ann & Guy Boanas
Ann & Guy are still out at the vineyard & Cellar Door each day. Guy you'll find either in the tasting room spinning yarns, or doing laps of the vineyard in his tractor. Ann will be in the office or creating some delicious platters to complement the wines.
Either way, they're still the heart of the company and the place reflects their love of people and of good wine.
"We're still proudly family owned & operated. We truly enjoy hosting fellow wine lovers and having a yarn over some great wines. It's not unusual for people to stay a little longer than they intended. There's always more wines to try, and jokes to tell..." Guy Boanas
Today, we have five different varietals in our single estate vineyard on the original ram's paddock and we love to share our offerings from the land with our visitors...
Clone 5 Pinot Noir 9.7 ha
Clone 115 Pinot Noir 7.2 ha
Clone 6 Pinot Noir 2.74 ha
Clone 10/5 Pinot Noir 1.7 ha
Clone 777 Pinot Noir 1.17 ha
Pinot Gris 1.34 ha
Sav Blanc 0.5 ha
Gamay 0.5 ha
Pinot Blanc 0.5 ha
Where there are vines today, in 1900 you would have been surrounded by sheep!
Mt Rosa was originally part of the Kawarau Station which ran over 40,000 sheep. In 1903, the snow killed 16,000 of them and in 1910 it was split into 16 runs with Mt Rosa's 5450 acres being one of them.
Some of the earlier vines were planted at Mt Rosa in the 1970s, but rabbits and sheep ate them all. Wool prices were crap and by 2000 we decided that a vineyard was the way forward and so began our new story in wine!
Our simple philosophy is to ensure the land is handed over to the next generation in its most pristine condition. Along with our winemaker, we have a hands-off approach, as much a possible, to allow our vines and ultimately, our wines, to truly reflect their environment.
While we have a natural, hand's off approach to the vineyard, it's all hands on deck for the Cellar Door! Our philosophy is that the experience of tasting the wine is equally as important as the wine itself so we endeavour to make you feel welcome as soon as you pull up.
We are proud to be SWNZ (Sustainable Wine Growing NZ) accredited and take our role as guardians of the land seriously. We have a vested interest in maintaining the quality of the land and the vineyard for future generations' enjoyment of the good drop of wine.
Our vineyard is one of the highest in Gibbston which can present great challenges as well happy surprises! It means that we don't need to use as much water as others due to gravity, the cooler temperatures in the evening also mean that disease is not as common. We use a small amount of pesticides and herbicides.