The picture pretty much says it all. At the end of summer we leave our wives in charge of the children in the Bay of Plenty and hot-foot it across the country to taste the grapes, picking them at the perfect time. Although our winery (the place where we chuck the grapes in a bucket and stand on them) is in Rotorua, we grow them on the oldest vines in the country in the best wine growing regions – Marlborough, Central Otago, Martinborough and Hawkes Bay to get the best possible result.
It’s a frantic but intensely enjoyable couple of months, culminating in a 30 hour ramble in a cotton wool wrapped truck from Central Otago deep in the South Island, hauling tonnes of warm, ripe fruit back up to Rotorua.We have always loved wine. We met at a big wine making company and wanted to do it ourselves. And that’s what we did in 2009. Our wives weren’t too thrilled with the idea of uprooting our families all the way down to the South Island so we have set up camp at the gondola in Rotorua.
Our winery is at the base of the gondola where you can come in and see how the lorry load of fruit turns into a bottle of our finest, of which we are immensely proud.Take the trip to the top of the gondola to our tasting room with arguably the best view in Rotorua.
After setting up Volcanic Hills in 2009, we realised we didn’t just want to make wine, we wanted to see people enjoying it. We built our perfect working environment: a place to make the stuff near our families and a gorgeous tasting room in which to buy a glass, kick back and enjoy with a cheese board or do a wine tasting with either of us as well as sell bottles directly to our customers.
Sean Beer Wine Maker
Surfing and my family are my great loves. Living down the road from Rotorua in Mount Maunganui means I get to indulge all three. A degree in wine science was a good excuse to work in some of the world’s most beautiful wine producing regions: Burgundy in France, Australia, Ontario in Canada. We are very much a two family company with Jo and Larissa supporting Brent and I in this venture we live and breathe.