The Rongopai story is one of passion, innovation and excellence. It is a story that reflects the vibrant colours of the New Zealand landscape, a story that is enhanced by a flavoursome past.
The brand proudly displays our Koru, which is often used in Maori art as a symbol of creation. This is based on the shape of an unfurling fern frond. Its circular shape conveys the idea of perpetual movement, and its inward coil suggests a return to the point of origin. The Koru therefore symbolises the way in which life both changes and stays the same.
Rongopai wine holds the unique position of being one of the oldest wine brands in New Zealand. The name itself was introduced in 1932 and since then the name – a Maori word meaning “good taste & good feeling” has also become synonymous with quality.
Rongopai holds the unique position of being one of the oldest wine brands in New Zealand. The name itself was introduced in 1932 and since then the name - a Maori word meaning "good taste & good feeling" has also become synonymous with quality.
The original site was in Te Kauwhata; a small, picturesque town in the centre of New Zealand's North Island. The building on this site was first constructed by the New Zealand government in 1902, as New Zealand's first viticultural research station. The aim of the research facility, which was headed by pioneer Romeo Bragato, was to understand New Zealand's soil and to implement a programme to establish varieties that would thrive in the diverse climatic conditions.
This same site where Romeo's groundbreaking work took place was used as Rongopai's winery from 1932 to 2007. The building has been restored with extensive renovations and modern upgrades, however much of the building's original features are maintained.
In 2007, Babich Wines took over the Rongopai Wines brand, moving the winemaking to the Babich Henderson site in West Auckland. Babich continues to use Rongopais established strategic relationships with growers throughout New Zealand ensuring they will always produce the best wine possible from any given vintage, and to give a broad selection and diverse resource for the Rongopai brand. Babich also have extensive plantings throughout New Zealand to source grapes from.
- Rongopai Ultimo Noble Late 2002 (Royal Easter Wine Show 2004, Gold Medal and Champion Wines)
- Rongopai Ultimo Gisborne Chardonnay 2002 (International Wine Challenge 2004)