Borthwick Vineyard


For five generations and over one hundred years the Borthwick family have built a farming, wine and food legacy and now the current generation are continuing to grow that story.

Location Description

Situated in Gladstone, the heart of the Wairarapa.


  • A Progressive Family Legacy.

Additional Information

  • Meeting / Conference Facilities:
  • Caves:
  • Wedding Facilities:
  • Picnic Facilities:
  • Dog Friendly:
  • Winery Tours:
  • Wine Tasting:
  • Art or Architecture:
  • Organic / Biodynamic:
  • Awards:
  • Wine Club:
  • Lodging / Bed & Breakfast:


In-between making wine, traveling, marketing and family farm responsibilities, Paddy still enjoys getting back into the vineyard and winery when he’s able, and sitting down for the Dominion newspaper daily quiz with the team.

After 35 vintages, Paddy makes wine instinctively, and has the confidence to take risks where others hedge their bets. The rest of the team follow suite, and the wines made owe their distinctive flavour to the skill of the people within our place and a shared passion to create the best wine.


Whether it’s sitting on an apple box in 1892 selling Borthwick meat at London’s famed Smithfield market or presenting wine at an international trade show, this is story about people, place, wine and food.

Paddy’s family association with farming and the fine food it produces dates back to his great-great grandfather, Sir Thomas Borthwick who was a pioneer in the English meat trade. Originally a butcher, Sir Thomas went on to be one of the first to export frozen meat to England to all parts of the globe.

In 1936, Paddy’s grandfather, PJ Borthwick, immigrated to New Zealand and purchased Te Whanga Station 100km’s to the north of Wellington in the Wairarapa district . Since then, Te Whanga has passed through three successive generations, and developed an enviable history over 75 years as one of New Zealand’s pre-eminent Angus cattle and sheep stations. Te Whanga is home to 700 Angus stud cattle and 10,000 sheep grazing on 1600 hectares of pristine farming country.

Following in the footsteps of great-great grandfather Thomas, Paddy was looking for diversification to farming, and saw the Wairarapa having an ideal climate for growing super premium wine grapes. So in 1985 Paddy left Te Whanga in the capable hands of his family, and trained at the world renowned Roseworthy College in Australia as a viticulturist and wine maker, embarking on a career spanning five countries and three continents before settling back into the Wairarapa. In 1996, Paddy and his father Robin began planning the 27-hectare Borthwick Vineyard and Winery.

The Team

Braden Crosby: Winery Manager:

Braden came for vintage in 2005 and then decided after several vintages abroad that this was a place where he could pursue his passion for growing and making great wines. Braden is responsible for the daily winemaking and vineyard management. He takes great reward from all the hard work by the team in the resultant quality captured in the bottle.

One of Braden’s fortes is the annual vintage beard; something no else challenges him in.
Braden grew this beard for a friend’s book on early settler New Zealanders; we’re glad he’s back into making wines again and didn’t stay in character

Lisa Hodson: Vineyard Manager:

Lisa joined us in 2000, over this time she has grown into the mother guardian of our vineyard. She tells us how it is, and where the vines are at in any given season. Whether the vines are growing too fast or too slow, she keeps us in the know and the contractors in tow.

Lisa is current reigning champ of the annual Borthwick Vineyard pruning competition, this is no mean feat, given the standard of the competition.

Anne Behrent: Facilitating vineyard care:

Anne’s love of the outdoors and growing things has ensured our vines are respected, well treated, and lovingly cared for. Her varied background, including sheep milking, etc, has given her a range of skills which are put to good use around the vineyard, however fishing is her passion. Her challenge is to catch and release more trout in the Ruamahunga River than Mark.

Mark Ellison: Vineyard and machinery operations:

When Mark started with us in 2010 after leaving a role as a farm manager and taking on the role as vineyard operations manager, he never envisaged having to Shepherd sheep again. However, with our philosophy of best practice, using sheep from the farm for mid-summer leaf plucking and winter grazing, he still uses his rarely used shepherd’s whistle and is now down to a single trusted family pet Labrador as sheep dog.

Practices & Techniques

In line with the family’s legacy of international trade, 90 percent of the wine is exported around the world. Paddy believes in sustainability and best practice within a vineyard, developing an asset for generations to come.

Estate Vineyards / AVA

The 27 hectares of vines bordering the Ruamahunga River in Gladstone, Wairarapa are on stony, free draining, alluvial soils, with a micro climate giving warm daily temperatures, cool nights and low rainfall; perfect conditions for producing distinctive, quality wines.


Pinot Noir 2011

90 Points Sam Kim's Wine Orbit
4 Stars Raymond Chan Wine Reviews

Sauvignon Blanc 2014

5 Stars Raymond Chan Wine Reviews
5 Stars Sam Kim's Wine Orbit

Pinot Gris 2013

4 Stars Raymond Chan Wine Review

Riesling 2013

90 Points Sam Kim's Wine Orbit
4 Stars Raymond Chans Wine Reviews

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