CHURCH ROAD

OUR HERITAGE

A pioneer of the Hawke’s Bay wine industry

One of the oldest wineries in New Zealand, our journey started with a young Tom McDonald whose passion for wine saw him forge both a remarkable legacy and enviable future for Hawke’s Bay winemaking and Church Road Winery. Today, our current Chief Winemaker Chris Scott continues this dedication to creating exceptional wines, combining traditional winemaking practices coupled with innovative techniques.

1897

Bartholomew Steinmetz founded Taradale Vineyards on the site now known as Church Road.

1921

Tom McDonald starts working at the winery aged 14 and became in charge of the winery by 19.

Church Road 1921 Winery
1949

Tom McDonald produces New Zealand’s first widely-available Cabernet Sauvignon pioneering modern quality winemaking in Hawke’s Bay.

Tom McDonald
1960s

New Zealand wine connoisseurs snap up McDonald’s red wines year after year.

1987

Tom McDonald passes away, leaving behind a legacy of quality winemaking.

1989

Church Road Winery is renovated and re-established as the heart of premium red winemaking in New Zealand.

Church Road Winery
1991

Two French winemakers from Domaines Cordier in Bordeaux impart traditional French winemaking techniques.

1995

First vintage of TOM Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot is crafted to honour the legacy of Tom McDonald.

Church Road TOM range
2016

Chris Scott is awarded Winestate New Zealand Winemaker of the Year for the second time.

Church Road Winemaker