Grown, made and bottled in Central Otago

Grasshopper Rock stands out as a pioneer in Central Otago Pinot Noir. It was a courageous venture for a small group to establish a new vineyard on meticulously chosen land in 2003, aiming to create a name as a world-class producer of Central Otago Pinot Noir. By 2023, the original team of five partners was consolidated down to just two of the original partners.

Today, Grasshopper Rock occupies an esteemed position among the highest-rated Central Otago Pinot Noirs globally and is acknowledged as an exceptional vineyard site within the region. Co-founders Phil Handford and John Carmody bring their agricultural backgrounds and education from Massey and Lincoln agricultural universities to the forefront. Our passion lies in crafting world-class wine, founded on the belief that the essence of exceptional wine originates from the quality of the land and vines. The proverb "you reap what you sow" remains a guiding principle, reflecting our unwavering commitment to excellence from the vineyard to the glass.


Pip Battley

We work with some of Central Otago's most highly regarded winemakers. Pip Battley, Pete Bartle and the VinPro winery team transform the grapes we grow into wine. It has been a very successful collaboration since our first vintage in 2006.

Pip is our Senior Winemaker at VinPro.

Pip believes in letting the wine speak for itself with just a little guidance along the way, she strives to bring out the qualities unique to the vineyard, gently tailoring the wine with minimal interference.

Born and raised on a farm in North Auckland, Pip studied Viticulture and Oenology at Lincoln University. A desire for travel and a passion for Pinot Noir, has taken her from Martinborough and Central Otago to Oregon, Burgundy and Chablis, Nelson and South Australia. In 2017, Pip returned to NZ from Cape Jaffa Wines in South Australia and was appointed Winemaker at VinPro, and now Senior Winemaker.

In her spare time Pip enjoys all water sports and spending time with her dogs.

Vineyard Manager

Chad Douglas

Since 2021 the vineyard has been managed by Chad Douglas and his team at Estate Vineyard Management.

Our vineyard team plays a critical role in growing the premium fruit we deliver to the winery.

Mike Moffitt oversaw the development of the vineyard from a bare deer paddock in 2001, to the impressive vineyard that it is today. Mike was vineyard manager for nearly 20 years until 2021. 

Managing Director

Phil Handford

Phil is the face of Grasshopper Rock, leading the company since it was formed in 2001 through to the establishment of Grasshopper Rock as a world-class Central Otago pinot noir producer. Phil previously had a career as a rural banker, before being involved in the establishment of various agribusiness ventures. Phil has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from Massey University. (Photo credit: Griffin Gettas)


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