Our Story

Follow our journey through the decades



Mount Michael itself is the southernmost peak of the Pisa Range, standing tall directly adjacent to Mt Difficulty as the guardians of the Kawarau Gorge and the entrance to the Cromwell basin, overlooking the subregions in which our wines are grown.



HISTORY TIMELINE



  • 1994

    The story begins – Mount Michael Vineyard arose out of Sue and Martin Anderson’s desire to live and run a business in Central Otago. They spent nearly two years finding the right site; a six hectare plot overlooking the Wanaka – Queenstown turnoff at Cromwell. An initial three-hectare vineyard was planted with approximately half Chardonnay grapes and the other half in Pinot Noir grapes.

  • 1997

    The very first harvest of grapes from the Mount Michael Vineyard were picked, and blessed by the local Anglican Church Vicar. Causing some controversy as the local Catholic Church went on to being included in the founding label.


  • 1999

    In order to focus her initial efforts on the vineyard, Sue sold grapes from the first two years harvest to Chard Farm. By 1999, Sue felt that the vineyard was well established and the grapes had achieved sufficient quality. The first wines under the “Mount Michael” label were made by Matt Dicey of Mt Difficulty.

  • 2003

    The Central Otago Wine Growers Association (COWA) showcased the region for the first time in London at New Zealand House. Mount Michael Wines were a part of this maiden journey to the United Kingdom, entering in the The London International Wine Challenge and awarded a Silver Medal for the 2002 Pinot Noir at the worlds largest wine competition.

  • 2004

    After a decade the Anderson family sold Mount Michael Wines to a consortium of wine enthusiasts. With the success of Mount Michael Wines a premium reserve wine was created and named after an original and most loved “employee”, Bessie. A Fox terrier and rabbit hunter of legend, she was vineyard “supervisor” for many years.

  • 2005

    Alan Scott of the aforementioned investment consortium went on to buy out his other investors from the vineyard and later that year the remaining syndicate inclusive of Peter Morrison & Debbie Laycock purchased a new seven-hectare plot in Lowburn where Mount Michael Wines found its new home.

  • 2015

    The new generation.

    As Mount Michael Wines heads into its third decade, the Robbie family acquire Mount Michael in 2015 with Peter (a fifth-generation southerner ) and daughter Anna at the helm, the next chapter of the story begins.

  • 2016

    New friendships are formed with three-generational growers sourcing their premium fruit from Lowburn, Bendigo & Gibbston; subregions of Central Otago.

    The Mt Michael Lodge is opened by Alistair & Fiona Marris, the first luxury accommodation of its kind amongst Central Otago vines.

  • 2017

    In 2016 our Reserve Pinot Noir wasn’t the only good thing gathering momentum. So was our baby niece and whilst she only had 9 and a bit months ‘in barrel’ her parents named her Isla Robbie when she came into the world in 2017.

    We are thrilled to announce ISLA as our Reserve Pinot Noir for 2016. Debuting Gold in the Exhibition Category of the 2017 Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

  • 2018

    Brought new members to the Mount Michael family as we design and launch the first wines in our new collection ‘The Mountaineer’.

    We also make our first vegan friendly wines.

  • 2019

    Saw a new partnership with the opening of the Mount Michael Wines tasting room in conjunction with Buzz Stop in the new " Country Lane " Precinct, located in Frankton, Queenstown.

  • 2021

    The Mountaineer Pinot Noir continues to increase in popularity beyond expectations and to bolster fruit supply Mount Michael takes control and long term tenure of a spectacular Earnscleugh block producing wonderful fruit right on the Clutha River not far below the Clyde Dam.

    Mount Michael expand into the Australian Market offering prompt delivery, Wine Subscriptions and Special Incentives to Friends of Mount Michael Members.

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