Our History

Chris and Jill met and fell in love whilst studying winemaking at Roseworthy College in Adelaide, Australia back in 1991. After working vintages together in France and New Zealand they settled in Marlborough where Chris worked for Montana and Jill for Grove Mill. Chris found large scale corporate winemaking frustrating and went to work at Renwick Brewery where the idea of developing his own brewery began. In 1994 Jill & Chris got married amongst the vines then moved to the Hawke’s Bay where they started the successful Roosters Brewhouse winning the Ernst and Young New Business Award in 1996.

The following year Chris’s parents Ralph and Phillipa Harrison sold their family farm in Paihiatua and bought a property by the beach in Te Awanga where they planted Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer in the stoney beach gravels. That same year Chris and Jill bought their own grapes and made the first Beach House Wines at the Brewery. In 2000 Ralph built the Beach House Cellar Door on his Te Awanga vineyard. The Cellar Door was constructed from hay bales which keeps it cool in the Hawke’s Bay summer heat. From 2019 after the sad passing of Phillipa Harrison, Ralph and the family decided to sell the cellar door property ending an era. A big thank you goes out to everyone that enjoyed the Beach House cellar door experience for the last 20 odd summers.

In 1999 Chris & Jill moved to Mere Road on the Gimblett Gravels where they planted Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Montepulciano and Chardonnay. In 2008 they built a state of the art winemaking facility on their Mere Road site with the capacity to process 200 tonnes. Beach House Wines have gone from strength to strength receiving myriad medals and trophies over the years and are poised to become one of New Zealand’s most sought after boutique wine producers. We’d love you to follow us on Facebook, or join our exclusive wine club where we can keep you up to date with new releases, promotions and what’s going on in our vineyards and winery.