Coal Pit is a boutique family vineyard in Central Otago, New Zealand. We are committed to producing world-class wines from our sustainably accredited vineyard and on-site winery.

The Landscape

The vineyard is nestled on the warm north-facing slopes of Gibbston, the highest sub-region in Central Otago.  The vineyard faces north toward the Crown Range Mountains and the Kawarau River. Gibbston and Queenstown attract the extremes of New Zealand weather with snow covered winters and hot summers. The landscape is arguably one of the most detached and volatile grape growing regions in the world but at the same time the extreme seasonality in Gibbston's climate is perfect for producing remarkably high-quality fruit.

The Vineyard

Coal Pit Vineyard covers 12 hectares of land in the heart of Gibbston. The vineyard is planted with 7 hectares of Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc vines that date back to 1994, some of the oldest in Gibbston.

The vineyard is planted on the glacially formed schist based soils, with a mix of clones for added complexity and balance. Coal Pit typically yields intensely aromatic wines with strong minerality and is run in accordance with the proactive environmental management programme, Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand.

Coal Pit is one of the few single vineyards in Gibbston where the grapes are grown, handpicked and crafted into wines on site. We are currently part way through our BioGro organic conversion and will be fully certified by 2023.

The Winery

Coal Pit has been producing wine since 2006.

Rosie's decision to construct a 30 tonne winery in 2007 was integral in shifting the boutique vineyard's focus towards premium quality, allowing complete control from vine to wine.

Situated in the heart of the Coal Pit vineyard, the building faces north toward the Crown Range Mountains and the Kawarau River. The winery comprises a cellar door, a temperature and humidity controlled barrel room, laboratory, meeting rooms and winemaker's accommodation.

The Coal Pit wines have long been recognised internationally, with the most recent accolades received for the 2018 ‘Tiwha’ Pinot Noir at the 2020 International Wine Challenge; notably being awarded Sustainable & New Zealand Red Trophies.

The Team

Coal Pit is a small, passionate team of wine lovers, dedicated to crafting premium, sustainable and elegant wines. Rosie purposefully surrounded herself with experts from the wine industry that she now calls friends. The high quality of wines are a true reflection of the love and effort from each member of the team.

Rosie Dunphy

Rosie Dunphy

Owner

Rosie gained her interest in viticulture while completing 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, she learnt that the Coal Pit Vineyard was on the market. After realising that this was a rare opportunity to acquire a beautiful vineyard on the Gibbston slopes she returned to her homeland with her husband and four kids to pursue the dream of producing world-class wines.

Anika Willner

Anika Willner

Winemaker

Anika, a Lincoln and Ohio State University graduate, joined Coal Pit for the 2018 vintage with experience working in Oregon, Australia, Germany, South Africa, Burgundy and New Zealand. Anika's passion for Pinot Noir led her to Central Otago. Anika lives on the vineyard with her partner and her dog Molé. This enables Anika to have constant interaction and oversight of the vines. Anika has been a driving force in Coal Pit's transition to organic production. Cameron Douglas, Master Sommelier, named Anika as one of New Zealand's Young Winemakers to Watch in 2021.

Kate Hunter

Kate Hunter

Sales & Marketing Manager

Kate joined Coal Pit in 2015, after working 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 children. Kate has supercharged Coal Pit's premium and sustainable development for the better part of a decade.

Terri Bruce

Terri Bruce

Operations Manager

Terri joined Coal Pit in 2008 and is responsible for finances and the day to day operations and administration of the company. Terri has a keen eye for detail after working in the finance and corporate travel industries for many years prior to raising a family. After more than a decade as part of the Coal Pit family, Terri has developed a great passion for wine and the intricacies of the New Zealand wine industry. Terri is an expert in managing the complexity of Coal Pit's operations.

 

Hugo Dunphy

Hugo Dunphy

General Manager

Hugo has grown up around the vineyard and made his first vintage at the age of 8 under the guidance of the Gibbston Godfather, Alan Brady. Down the line, whilst working for PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting, Hugo worked on the New Zealand Winegrowers 2018 Strategic Review. This developed both Hugo’s knowledge of the industry and his passion for growing Coal Pit into a world-class sustainable family business. Hugo assists multiple arms of the Coal Pit business with specific focus on the finances and branding.

The Name

The Coal Pit name is derived from the historical area in the nearby mountain ranges which provided the early pioneers, musterers and gold miners with coal as they passed over the Coal Pit saddle. The coal was bagged at the pit, loaded into carts and brought down Coal Pit road to the valley.

The flagship Pinot Noir 'Tiwha' pays tribute to Rosie's late father.

The Label

New Zealand born Chris Heaphy, of Ngai Tahu is a close friend of the family and the creator of the iconic Coal Pit label. 

Heaphy’s abstract painting hangs in the Coal Pit tasting room - the inky black lines top and bottom represent the coal seams that were once a part of the Central Otago landscape, while the dominating cadmium red represents the predominant Pinot Noir plantings in the vineyard. The effect is a striking design that complements the individuality and beauty of the vineyard and Coal Pit wine.