Stonyridge Vineyard is the ongoing dream of owner Stephen White. In 1981 Stephen returned to New Zealand after sailing a Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race, skippering yachts in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, and working at wineries in France, California and Italy. It was during this 3-year adventure that Stephen came to love the culture and lifestyle of the Mediterranean and the great red wines of France, Tuscany and California.
After extensive climatic research Stonyridge was discovered as the ideal north facing site to ripen and produce a world class Bordeaux style red wine.
The first Bordeaux vines and olive trees were planted in 1982 with the help of close friends and family. This makes Stonyridge the first commercial olive grove in New Zealand. When Cabernet Franc and Malbec were planted in 1983, it was the beginning of New Zealand’s first Bordeaux four blend.
In 1984 Stephen returned to Bordeaux for a final training period to collect Petit Verdot and completed a vintage at Chateau d’Angludet, Cantenac-Margaux under the tutelage of Peter Sichel.
Stephen produced the first vintage at Stonyridge Vineyard in 1985. Two years later, he made the great 1987 Larose that rocketed Stonyridge to national fame, and attracted international attention – a wine hailed as the greatest red wine ever made in New Zealand.
The 1993 vintage, Stonyridge made the first Bordeaux five blend in the new world. In 2000, an elite French sommelier team put Stonyridge Larose 1996 as first equal with Chateau Petrus, Lafite Rothschild, Latour and Cheval Blanc in Grandes vins rouge du Monde (Les Editions du Bottin Gourmand).
Today Stonyridge is referred to as “One of the Top Ten Must Visit Wineries in the World” Guardian UK and topped the list for the best Cabernet Merlot in The Age/ Sydney Morning Herald Good Wine Guide 2013. Our wines consistently score over 95 points with world renown critics such as James Suckling. Most recently, our Larose 2019 achieving a 97 point rating and our Pilgrim 2020 winning a score of 96 points.