In 1987 Brent and Shirley Rawstron planted three hectares of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir on the banks of the Halswell River in Canterbury, New Zealand. The Chardonnay proved to be a poor producer, so was replaced with Pinot Noir. Further plantings on north-facing slopes have increased the total vineyard area to six hectares. The new plantings include a small area of Gewurztraminer.
In 1992, the winery was constructed. Grant Whelan, a Lincoln graduate, was Rossendale’s winemaker from 1993 to 2002.
Rossendale Restaurant opened in March 1994. The initial offering of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc was expanded to include Riesling, Pinot Gris, Rose and Merlot. Rossendale Restaurant was sold in March 2014. After extensive renovations the new owners reopened the former Rossendale Restaurant as “The Bicycle Thief”.
Rossendale Cellar Door is now located at 100 Old Tai Tapu Rd, sharing space with Rossendale Office. Follow the signage. The Cellar Door is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5 pm. Weekend tastings require an appointment.