About Torlesse Wines

Torlesse Cellar Door

Open 7 days
11.00am to 5.00 pm

The seasons may change but we always offer friendly personalised service by people that know and make the wines

and the OMIHI ROAD range of wines.

Foundation Member of Greening Waipara and Biodiversity Trails


Company Information

Torlesse Wines Limited is based at Waipara Village, adjacent to State Highway 1, 60 kilometres north of Christchurch. The company takes its name from an early Canterbury resident, surveyor and farmer, Englishman Charles Torlesse. He gave his name to the Torlesse mountain range which part circles the Canterbury Plains and was at one time the largest land owner and farmer in North Canterbury and founder of the nearby town of Rangiora. Interestingly, the name Torlesse is given to the underlying bedrock from which most New Zealand soils are derived – Torlesse, the terroir of New Zealand!

Our winery began its life as a farm woolshed, which, in 1987, John McCaskey converted into a producing winery for Glenmark Wines. In 1991 Torlesse Wines moved to Waipara and Torlesse and Glenmark have shared the production facilities ever since. Torlesse is thus one of the older wineries in the Waipara Valley. Numerous additions have been made to the winery and it is now self sufficient in all aspects of winemaking, from crushing and vinting through to bottling and selling. 

The Torlesse Cellar door was one of the new additions, opening in March 2000. Currently Maggie, Kym or Paul are available to serve wine lovers 7 days a week.

A significant proportion of our grapes are hand harvested and all are batch processed, keeping different vineyard components in separate barrels or tanks for assessment just before the final blending decisions are made. Torlesse was the first winery in Waipara to bottle with the screw cap closure and that initial wine, a 2001 Waipara Riesling, still drinks beautifully. Based on careful assements over 8 years, cork versus screw cap, we now know that the screw cap closure gives consistency and graceful aging for both white and red wines, especially benefiting Rieslings and Pinot Noir.

We now fill and close all of our wines with screw caps, although we retain the ability to use cork closure if clients have a preference. The Torlesse Winery has barrel and tank storage that allows up to 200 tonnes of grapes to be processed at Vintage.

The Waipara area is one of New Zealand’s newest and rapidly expanding wine areas. Nestled in the lee of the Teviotdale hills and open to the warming northwest winds, the long narrow Waipara Valley provides an ideal climate for growing premium quality grapes. Its north facing, moderately sloping terrain provides an ideal sun-trap for fruiting vines.

The company makes stylish and distinctive wines from specific vineyards in Waipara, including 35 Hectares of shareholder owned Waipara vineyards. Torlesse is proud to be part of the rapidly growing Waipara wine region – perhaps the best grape growing region in New Zealand and invites you to try our wide range of high quality award-winning wines. 

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