Woman in Wine: Rosie Finn

16 Mar 2020

In celebration of International Women's Day this month, we're talking to women from different fields about their career journey in the wine industry. 

Rosie Finn

Born during the middle of vintage and being the daughter of Tim and Judy Finn of Neudorf Vineyards in Nelson, it was a safe bet Rosie Finn would end up in the wine business.

Growing up on the vineyard shaped Rosie’s childhood, but like most people, she sought to carve her own path in life.

“Not one paper on viticulture or oenology was considered,” when she left home to study design in Wellington. At the end of her degree, she booked a one-way ticket to the UK.

In London, she met Mel Brown who was launching the New Zealand Cellar and was soon working with her. She saw New Zealand wines received with excitement a world away from her parent’s vineyard in Nelson.

“I fell in love with the New Zealand wine industry from 19,000kms away.”

Mel’s passion had a profound effect on her and redirected her career, “I wouldn’t be where I am today without her, as well as equally Tim & Jude.”

When the time came to choose her next move, it didn’t take long to realise she was meant to be in Nelson at Neudorf.

Now she heads up Sales and Marketing for the family brand, a role that had previously been Judy’s. The transition from mother to daughter was a big moment for her. “The day Jude was happy to soak up retirement was a lot of responsibility but in equal measure, I was proud she felt confident handing over the job.” But that same moment can be the source of self-doubt, “I hate the idea of people thinking I got to where I am due to nepotism.”

These days she’s fully committed to the wine industry and thrives on diversity in her job - “the changes, the pressure, the challenges,” - where no two days are alike.

Rosie is carving out a name for herself, throwing her energy and talents into various industry activities. She holds a position on the NZ Winegrowers Marketing Committee, steering the industry’s efforts. She is also on the board of the Pinot Noir NZ conference.

“That is an impressive group of people, so I feel privileged to be around a boardroom with them. By the way, the event is going to be incredible.”

Like so many others, the sense of community is what made her return to Nelson and what keeps her in the wine industry.There are a lot of great aspects to my job but definitely the friendships (winemakers, sales, sommeliers, marketers… the list goes on) I have across the industry is my favourite part.”

Rosie’s best piece of wine advice? “Don’t tell me what you think is in the glass, tell me what you can actually taste & from there see if you can decipher the origins of the wine.” Tim, teaching me to blind taste.


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