Rock Ferry Wines
Situated on the Orchard Vineyard we converted a fruit packing house to our winery in time for the 2009 vintage. You will find no receival bin here – our grapes are hand harvested and hand sorted across a table. Mixing the modern with the traditional, we have small stainless steel tanks among traditional Burgundian puncheons, French cuves and French oak barriques for ageing.
A modern take on tradition sums up our winemaking philosophy, making authentic wine is very important to us, as well as making the best wines we can. We try and pick grapes on fruit days, in accordance with the biodynamic calendar, and thereafter we choose fruit days to work with these wines. We find this works with the rhythm of nature and makes better wine. We allow natural yeasts the ability to do their thing wherever possible and we use sulfur sparingly and bottle with minimal fining and filtration.
Embodying the old world philosophy of oak supporting fruit in wine we use a range of traditional oak vessels. For example, we use puncheons for our white wines and for some of our Central Otago Pinot Noir to express the floral characters of the fruit. Our wines are released when they are ready, or as the French say éleve, which means we allow the wines to mature.
Allan McWilliams - Winemaker
Armed with an oenology degree from Roseworthy, Allan has worked vintages in a few wine regions. He has made wine in the Hunter Valley and Margaret River, Australia before heading over to the U.S. to make Pinot Noir in Oregon and eventually to Chateau Petrus in Bordeaux. After brief stints in Switzerland and Italy’s Barolo region, he returned home to New Zealand and winemaking for Goldwater Estate, Nautilus, Cellier Le Brun and Wairau River. Allan has been making Rock Ferry’s wines since our first vintage in 2005.
Named after the bend in the road that follows an old river channel, The Corners Vineyard is a 13.5 ha site that sits in the heart of Marlborough's Wairau plains with beautiful views to the Richmond Ranges - its also the home of our cellar door and cafe.
The soil profile is silt overlying free draining alluvial stones and gravels, typical of the Rapaura district. The Corners Vineyard achieved full organic certification with BioGro, New Zealand from the 2009 vintage. Varietals planted include Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Gruner Veltliner and Nebbiolo.
Trig Hill Vineyard
The name Trig Hill refers to an old survey site set up in the late 1800s. With vineyard development starting in 2003, Trig Hill is now in full production with 19 ha under vine.
Situated in the Bendigo sub-region of Central Otago, the site is north facing and has a variety of slopes and elevations creating a range of microclimates. The soil profile consists of silt overlying clay, lime and schist fragments. Converted to an organic regime in 2009, and fully certified from 2012, varietals planted are Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Tempranillo.
Our Orchard Vineyard is so called because it was regarded as the most suitable site for orchard development in the Wairau Valley after WWII.
The 9.5 ha piece of land was purchased in 2007 and left to sit fallow for 18 months prior to its organic development.
The vineyard achieved full organic certification from the 2011 vintage. The soil profile is alluvial silts with stone ridges and is planted in Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc. It’s also where you will find our winery and winemakers doing their thing.
We opened our Cellar Door and Cafe in September 2011. Converted from an earlier home of Tom and Fiona's, it still has that welcoming warm feel.
Based around seasonally inspired cooking and our range of organically grown wines, the Cellar Door and Cafe is a great showcase for the honest, down-to-earth produce that New Zealand's South Island is justifiably famous for.
A familial air surrounds you. First time visitors at our vineyard cafe often describe a feeling they can't put their finger on, like they are coming home. Something to do with the infectious laughter bubbling from the kitchen and the mostly organic food cooked with love and attention.
Lots of locals, of course, do come back. They're part of the family too.
Contact Details & Opening Hours
We are open from 10.00am to 4.30pm with lunch available from 11.30am to 3.00pm seven days a week. We are closed all statutory holidays.
80 Hammerichs Road
Ph: +64 (0) 3 579 6431
Fax: +64 (0) 3 579 6432
Rock Ferry Cottage
Situated on the banks of the Wairau River, Rock Ferry is tranquil and private yet is within easy distance to Marlboroughs world famous vineyards and wineries and the regions many recreational activities.
Rock Ferry is set among two acres of lawn, gardens and native trees, and has two double bedrooms (each with ensuite), spacious living areas with a large open fireplace and full kitchen facilities.