A wandering stone, Gary migrated from the 'Great White North' (i.e. Canada) to New Zealand to study Viticulture at Lincoln University. Gary’s main idea was to steal ideas from the New Zealand wine industry and take them back to Canada, but instead he had his heart stolen. Having met his wife while harvesting grapes along the Coal Pit Road, he couldn't go back. His favourite aspect of viticulture is “the beauty and colour of the Pinot Noir grapes hanging on the vines.” As fate would have it, Gary planted the top block of the Coal Pit vineyard in 2000 prior to Rosie purchasing the vineyard, so has an in-depth knowledge and appreciation for the evolution of Coal Pit.
Rosie Dunphy - Owner
Living in Australia in the 90’s Rosie gained her interest in viticulture while completing a three year full time study in Advanced Urban Horticulture at Sydney’s Ryde School of Horticulture. Five years later, having moved to Ireland with her family and still keen to further her viticultural studies, Rosie commuted to the UK for a year to study Viticulture at Plumpton College, near Lewes, East Sussex.
In 2000, whilst still in Ireland, Rosie learnt the Coal Pit Vineyard was on the market. After realising this was a rare opportunity to acquire a beautiful vineyard on the Gibbston slopes she, her husband and their four children, returned to their native country to pursue the dream of producing world class wines.
Lynn Horton - Winemaker
Coal Pit’s winemaker since 2007 and a Gibbston local, Lynn has a firm grasp on the nuances of the Coal Pit vineyard, consistently maximising the site’s potential. Lynn studied Viticulture & Oenology at Lincoln University and brings a wealth of experience to Coal Pit having worked vintages in California, Austria, Martinborough, and Central Otago. Originally destined for the perfume industry, her experience in microbiology combined with a love aromatics lead Lynn to winemaking - the unpredictability of wine inspires her as every ferment, tank and barrel throws up new and exciting challenges.
Lynn can often be seen walking the vineyards, savouring aromas of the Otago landscape with her beloved Griffon dogs - she is married to Gary the company viticulturist and together they have two daughters.
Kate Hunter - Sales & Marketing Manager
Kate joined Coal Pit in 2015, with previous experience in the industry as a winemaker for Te Mata Estate, and in wine marketing for Cable Bay (Waiheke Island) Two Gates (Hawke’s Bay) and a London based Public Relations firm. Key accounts included the London International Wine Fair, Marks & Spencer and various wineries based in Australia, Chile, Spain, South Africa and Portugal. Kate holds a Master of Applied Science in Oenology from Lincoln University and lives in Auckland with her husband and three small children.
Amanda Fountain - Operations manager
Amanda joined Coal Pit in March 2018 and is responsible for the exports and general administration of the company. Born and bred in Central Otago with previous experience in the industry at Amisfield as the Laboratory and Compliance Manager and later moving to Hawkes Bay to work at Wineworks, leading the Laboratory and Quality Team.
Amanda currently lives in Christchurch with her husband and two young children. She has a certificate in Group Fitness Instruction and teaches Les Mills gym classes in her spare time