Forty Years Young!
Coopers Creek sits in the heart of the Huapai and Kumeu wine region, about 25 minutes drive north west of Auckland. It is an area steeped in tradition and home to some of the oldest established vines in New Zealand.
It was here, in 1980, that Andrew and Cynthia Hendry first established the Coopers Creek winery with the aim of producing the very highest quality wines, that reflect New Zealand’s outstanding cool climate viticultural conditions.
Andrew’s background and knowledge from working within the wine industry at the time and Cynthia’s success from running her own pate making business provided a winning formula. They could see the potential of New Zealand wine and their vision was matched by their resolve and dedication to succeed.
The company was formed by the Hendry’s in partnership of Randy Weaver, who became the first winemaker at Coopers Creek. Four hectares of land were purchased at the Huapai site, work started on the winery buildings and Chardonnay and Merlot vines were planted.
Two years later (1982) the first Coopers Creek vintage was produced and soon after that the first label released onto the local market.Coopers Creek was in production as a “micro-boutique’ winery. The 1980’s saw the winery steadily develop and expand with the acquisition of a second vineyard site at Middle Road in the Hawkes Bay, Randy’s departure from the business to return to the USA, and the appointment of Kim Crawford as winemaker.
The winery developed relationships with vineyards in the other principal wine growing regions of New Zealand and began to build its portfolio of wines. Cooper’s Creek’s philosophy has always been to source grapes from the regions where they grow best and this is reflected in the wines produced.
Throughout the 1990’s Coopers Creek continued to develop, flourishing both in terms of growth and production and in recognition of delivering quality wine. With a host of wine show success behind it Coopers Creek was recognised as one of the best performing small/medium-sized wineries of the decade.
Andrew Hendry has always seen the potential of New Zealand wine in the export arena. A long-time contributor and campaigner for New Zealand wine he has for many years been seeking and negotiating associations and partnerships with overseas markets. These efforts have been rewarded with Coopers Creek receiving a special commendation from the government and the prestigious ‘Award for Excellence in Exporting’ at the 1997 New Zealand exports awards.
Simon Nunns joined Coopers Creek in 1997 and took over the reins as winemaker with the 1998 vintage. This was one of the best vintages ever seen at Coopers Creek and with a host of Gold’s and other award winning wines from that vintage onwards, Simon has continued to enhance the prestige of the Coopers Creek brand.
Today, almost forty years on, Coopers Creek is still a family owned, New Zealand winery that remains in close touch with its origins and original aims. The company employs twenty five full time employees and is exporting wine to over twenty countries worldwide. The winery and vineyard site at Huapai has matured well over the years with the landscaping of the gardens, which now position it as one of the most picturesque settings in the region (high on the list of must-see wineries).
Host to popular events such as afternoon jazz on summer Sundays. It is a great place to visit and taste fine wine now and in the future.