While Kay and Gerald Norton-Knight always had big dreams, they could never have imagined that their little shack and the grounds surrounding it would transform into the successful winery and outdoor gallery that it is today. Like their family, their business and passions have grown organically around them through their commitment to quality products that shine with a personal touch.
When Kay and Gerry first came to Rosby as newlyweds, all that existed was a ramshackle cottage and 80 acres of unused land. As they raised their family they tended to five acres of garden that surrounded their house.
Before too long they had four young daughters running around the house and Gerry took to the land, planting vines on a sheltered, sloping block he’d been eyeing off for a few years. He still remembers when the first buds of cabernet burst back in 1996. Pleased with the result, he set about building a hut-style cellar door with views overlooking the new vineyards.
Demand for their wines grew so much that Gerry and Kay purchased a neighbouring property, allowing them to expand the range of grapes and create a stunning guesthouse with spectacular views. As the years ticked by and the girls grew up, they’ve all become involved in Rosby Wines in one form or another; whether that be sales, marketing or explaining what Instagram is to their parents.
Rosby Wines focuses on low-impact viticulture and boutique wine production. Cabernet sauvignon and shiraz are staples; the original 15 acres of vines are now more than 20 years old and each one is pruned and picked by hand to produce high quality, low yield crops that are bursting with flavour.
The cabernet sauvignon shows off the characteristics of the Mudgee region spectacularly. The first thing to notice is the vivid royal purple hue. Notes of blackberry and blackcurrant dominate the nose, with sweet berries and fruit on the palate. Wood tannins from French oak carry through for a soft, acidic finish.
More recently Gerry has added a refreshing, French style rosé to his repertoire and blocks of riesling, chardonnay and sangiovese have been planted for future vintages.
While Gerry tends to the vines, Kay spends her time in the print and sculpture studio in the gardens. In addition to running hands-on workshops for cooking, crafts and arts, Kay also finds time to run the largest outdoor art exhibition in rural New South Wales.
Sculptures in the Garden is an annual art workshop that culminates in a two-day outdoor exhibition. Most of the artists are from regional areas and jump at the opportunity to showcase their work. Held each October, the event attracts more than 2000 people to the region for the weekend.
Rosby Wines is a truly special place. Not only has the estate supported its family but the local community as well.