Rippon Vineyard boasts some of New Zealand’s most beautiful vineyard scenery as well as a fascinating origin story. It’s named after Emma Ripon who left behind her native England for a new life in Australia in the 1850s. Several generations later, the family moved to remote Wanaka where they founded a farm. In the 1970s Rolfe Mills was inspired by a trip to Portugal’s Douro Valley to plant some of the first vines in the region, experimenting with a few rows on a steep slope above the family house.
Rippon Vineyard & Winery
246 Wanaka-Mt Aspiring Rd, Wanaka 9305, New Zealand
Rolfe’s pioneering efforts have been continued by his son Nick who also happens to be a former Olympic ski champion. Nick worked at many of Burgundy’s top domaines including Domaine Jean-Jacques Confuron and Domaine de la Romanée-Conti before returning home to head up winemaking at Rippon. Today the family have 15 hectares of vines predominantly planted to Pinot Noir and Riesling which are farmed organically and biodynamically.