The first wine produced by Rimapere was a sauvignon blanc that was launched in 2012. In the soils of Marlborough, this variety makes the most of the region's cool climate and yields delightful wines that are taut and persistent with intense aromas featuring typical hints of lemon and grapefruit.
In 2012, Benjamin de Rothschild noted that the Compagnie Vinicole's portfolio was short on white wines. He first considered increasing the production of Merle Blanc at Château Clarke or branching out to other prestigious French regions, such as Burgundy or the Loire. But his taste for adventure, combined with the Compagnie Vinicole's pioneering spirit, could not be suppressed: the Baron ultimately decided to explore a new part of the world, New Zealand. This country, and especially the Marlborough wine region, offers remarkable conditions for growing sauvignon blanc.
In 2012, the Compagnie Vinicole acquired a 24-hectare vineyard on the Ripaura site in the heart of Marlborough. To help get the project off the ground, Benjamin de Rothschild decided to work with New Zealand's Peabody family, which already owned a top-notch winery, Craggy Range. The estate's wines draw heavily on local know-how and facilities, but they also benefit from the expertise of the Compagnie Vinicole team. This winning combination has enabled Rimapere's white wines to quickly achieve a high level of quality and international acclaim. Rimapere means "five arrows" in Maori, a reference to the symbol of the Rothschild family.
- 2009First contact made with Peabody family at Vinexpo Bordeaux
- 2010The Compagnie Vinicole staff make first trip to New Zealand
- 2012Vineyard purchased and first Rimapere sauvignon blanc vintage sold
- 2014First pinot noir vintage sold
A joint venture
The Rimapere initiative is the result of an alliance between Benjamin de Rothschild and the Peabody family of New Zealand, which owns Craggy Range Winery. This strong partnership allows them to produce the best wines while showcasing the characteristics of the site and its terroir.
The estate's soil and climate also lend themselves to growing pinot noir grapes. Production recently began on a red wine that will be made in limited quantities and released to the market in 2016.
Marlborough, located in the north-eastern corner of South Island, accounts for 62% of all of New Zealand's grape-growing land. The fertile region enjoys a temperate climate, which is why it is the capital of wine production in New Zealand. The Wairau River flows into the plains from the east, in the centre of which lies Blenheim, the region's biggest city. The Rimapere vineyard comprises 24 hectares of vines that are ideally situated on the prestigious Rapaura site, where the alluvial soil is mainly made of pebbles and gravel. Sauvignon bl anc is grown on 20 hectares (first vintage: 2012) and four hectares are planted with pinot noir.