The Gentle Cycling Company

Rimu Wine Bar


Rimu Wine Bar is located on the old wharf in Mapua, on the Great Taste Trail Coastal Route. In this article, Hodson shares his enthusiasm for the wines and the venue.

I think it goes without saying that I am a big fan of Nelson wines and the people who make them; every winery in the Nelson region is family owned and it is the heart and soul that these people pour into their wines that makes them special, the fact they taste great too helps. One of my favourite producers of Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines is Patrick Stowe from Rimu Grove Wines & Rimu Wine Bar. He has an uncanny ability to put risk aside when it comes to harvesting his grapes and ignores Mother Nature and only uses technology to help him rather than direct his harvesting decisions.

Stowe is often one of the last in the region to harvest his grapes because he picks based on flavour in the fruit rather than technical results; others do this too but I don’t think there are many people in the industry that have his uncanny knack at weaving his way through harvesting and winemaking decisions to create wonderful wines.

Rimu Grove Wines was the culmination of a life-long dream to create great wines in a wonderful environment, something that came from his background growing up in the Napa Valley and Stowe has produced great wines including award winning chardonnay (Colin Harrison Memorial Trophy two years in a row), highly sought after Pinot Noir and flavoursome aromatics. His latest venture with his partner Barbara Dunn is the Rimu Wine Bar on the Mapua Wharf, “this fits very nicely with winemaking, while the grapes are growing I am at the wine bar and when the grapes are ready for harvesting and turning into wine it is the quiet time in the hospitality industry so I don’t need to spend as much time there” says Stowe.

Rimu Wine Bar is more than a tasting room for his own wines, there is also like a big selection of regional wines, “a regional tasting venue where we have more than 40 wines by the glass from wineries across the region as well as a couple of international wines and Nelson made spirits along side some single malt Scotch Whiskies.” You can buy a ‘Wine Tree” for $20 and you get five tasting glasses of wine and a $5 discount off a bottle of wine to either drink in with great pizza or take away – yes he does have an off licence so if you find a wine you love you can buy a bottle to take home. “While I may be the face of the wine bar my partner Barbara Dunn has been the driving force behind both me and the new venture, she has been the main design brain behind the fit-out and she deals with all the staff training.” Rimu Wine Bar is an exciting addition to the wonderful new development undertaken by Tasman District Council at the Mapua Wharf, and they should be congratulated for their vision for the area, it is a wonderful destination for locals and visitors alike.

Thanks to Neil Hodgson for permission to use this article, first published 2/2/16