Christopher Bennett, a wealthy newspaper proprietor from Sydney, built Rotherwood in 1890 for his adored wife Violet as a retreat to escape the heat and humidity of the Sydney summer. A romantic beginning to the Rotherwood story.
The Coopers are the seventh owners of Rotherwood. The property, these days, consists of 100 acres of vineyards, farmland, formal gardens and parklands. The house and gardens have been restored to their former glory and offer a glimpse of life as it must have been at the end of the nineteenth century.
The vineyard was planted in 2007 and includes the Pinot Noir clones MV6, 777, 114 and 115. Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris were also planted at that time, and in 2019 Chardonnay was added.
Rotherwood continues to be a work in progress. Our vineyard is now run on organic principles. We believe it is fundamental to understand the provenance of what we eat and what we drink. Romance doesn’t work in a world of toxins and poisons.
Romancing The Vines
Sadly Susan passed away in 2014 after a long battle with breast cancer. In 2016 Ken asked Swanes Nurseries to create a rose to commemorate her life. The Susan Cooper rose is featured on the Home Page. The Cooper Family donate $10 for every Susan Cooper rose sold to the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University in Canberra.
Interestingly, roses share a genus relationship with grapes and are equally vulnerable to phylloxera aphids that once decimated vineyards worldwide. However, the discovery of a naturally resilient rootstock, which was later grafted to other vines, allowed vineyards to once more survive and thrive.
The romance of Rotherwood did likewise and once more worked its magic, and in 2019 Ken married Katrina Hill, who had her own vineyard in the Southern Highlands. Katrina brought light and laughter back to Rotherwood. We are fortunate indeed that we can call this wonderful, romantic property Home.
Meet the Team
Ken & Katrina Cooper
Two vignerons. One love story.
Ken planted the Rotherwood vineyard with one objective in mind—to make a great Pinot Noir—an obsession that has driven every decision about the vineyard. Ken married Katrina Hill in 2019, and Katrina soon sold her own vineyard in the same region, renowned for its Pinot Gris and bio-dynamic practices. Katrina now focuses all her considerable energy and passion on Rotherwood, and together they are excited and determined to continue making superb Pinots.
Jonathon is the chief winemaker at High Range Vintners. He brings highly relevant experience and a dedicated and talented approach to his winemaking. He has accumulated an impressive and growing lists of awards.
At Rotherwood, we always seek the best winemakers for our particular varieties. We believe Jonathan loves the Pinot grapes as much as we do and brings first-rate experience, deep knowledge, real curiosity as well as a keen intellect to his winemaking.