New Zealand's arrival on the world wine stage has been swift and dramatic. Over the past decade, as British author Hugh Johnson has written, "New Zealand has made an international impact with white wines of startling quality. It is now regarded as the foremost cool, climate viticultural region among the world's new wine countries."
Marlborough is the most prestigious of all New Zealand's wine regions. From the endless rows of vines marching across the pebbly, pancake-flat Wairau Plains flow perfumed and vigorous, vibrantly fruity white wines with a breathtaking intensity of flavor. The winery bears its name from the Wairau River which means "A Hundred Waters."
Wairau River's graceful, low-slung headquarters lies in the heart of Marlborough's finest grape-growing area. Phil and Chris Rose, the proprietors of Wairau River, pioneered the planting of vines on the warm north side of the Wairau Valley, in 1977. After over a decade of growing grapes for established wineries, in 1991 the Roses launched their own label, Wairau River Wines - with instant success in wine competitions and on the international market.
Today the Roses' stony, silty vineyards, which lie along the banks of the Wairau River itself, cover more than 250 acres, and are principally planted in sauvignon blanc. Only the very finest grapes from each vintage are reserved for the prestigious Wairau River label.
Wairau River wines are awash with the fresh, penetrating flavours of Marlborough grapes. Fragrant, vibrantly fruity and appetisingly crisp, they are exceptionally attractive to drink in their youth but also age very well.