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Stonyridge Vineyard experiences unprecedented growth for Summer


• Stonyridge Vineyard experiences record numbers of visitors in Summer 2018.

• Stonyridge’s internationally acclaimed Larose Cabernet sold out in two weeks in 2017.

• The vineyard is projecting its best season yet in its 37 years of operation.


Stonyridge Vineyard on Auckland’s prestigious Waiheke Island is almost sold out of its estate-made wines and is experiencing record number of visitors.

The café on the vineyard has also seen record numbers of visitors from New Zealand and abroad, with 20% increase in restaurant turn over, following recent renovations and landscaping.

With the perfect weather conditions for grape production, and veraison well under way, Stonyridge is projecting one of its best seasons ever.

Founder Stephen White says it has been one of the Stonyridge’s best summers as the businesses continues to grow.


“We have achieved an iconic status on the Waiheke scene. Last year, our latest Larose (2016) sold out in only two weeks. We have internationally acclaimed chefs such as Manu Fieldel of My Kitchen Rules and Phillip Davenport hosting highly sought-after lunch events, selling out in just 36 hours.

“Our grape production has had a strong start too. After a wet winter and early spring, the rains ceased early November with less than 150mm of precipitation from the start of November to the middle of January.

“All the surrounding hills are now tinder dry and brown. The weather during flowering was as perfect as it comes with warm, dry days and low humidity leading to excellent even flowering and great crop levels across the vineyard. Berry sizes are much smaller than average also, which means good concentration at harvest.”

White says the heat has been incredible this growing season with 22 days at 30°C or over, and most other days at temperatures higher than 27°C. Night time temperatures have also been well above average.

As a result of these conditions, veraison is more than two weeks ahead with all wine varieties going through evenly and quickly. The North facing side of the vineyard allows vines to benefit from the sun all day, enabling the ripening of the vineyard’s cabernet range to perfection.

The site is sheltered from the cooler Southwest winds and in summer it can experience over 80 days of temperatures in the 30°C mark during ripening period.


Stonyridge is famous for its café food, arguably the island’s best, which has attracted a growing list of international celebrities, including Taylor Swift, ZZ Top, Pamela Anderson, Simply Red, Deepak Chopra, Quentin Tarantino, many French wine notables and more recently, tennis stars Venus Williams, Julia Görges and UK musician Goldie.

Since its humble beginnings, Stonyridge has enjoyed international recognition, featuring in Time Magazine. Its leading top-end wine Larose has sold in the Dorchester Hotel’s Ducasse’s Restaurant, Hotel Byblos in St Tropez for €600 per bottle and Kai Mayfair. It has also sold in Madrid’s top restaurant Viridiana and other Three Star Michelin restaurants in France, Belgium and Netherlands. It has been named as the top Cabernet Merlot in Australia for 2013 (Sydney Morning Herald and The Age annual guide Nov 2012) with a score of 97- the highest equal score for any red wine in Australia and including Grange or Torbreck wines.

It has also been named the top Bordeaux Blend in New Zealand in the NZ Herald (January 2013). White says his vision for Stonyridge has come to fruition.

“The 2018 vintage represents Stonyridge’s 33rd vintage of winegrowing in Waiheke Island’s sheltered Onetangi Valley. It has been 37 years since I walked on to this property. It was November 1981 and I had just sailed back to New Zealand after completing the Round the World Yacht Race and skippering in the Mediterranean.

“There was nothing here, just golden sun burnt grass, wild horses and old broken fences. I fell in love with this property instantly and had no doubt what his destiny was, to make one of the greatest red wines in the world.”

In 2016, White was recognised for his excellence in winemaking as the first New Zealander to be inducted into France’s prestigious Jurade de Saint-Emilion. The Jurade de Saint-Emilion is 800 years old and is the oldest wine brotherhood in the world.

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