Simone Ramjee

Passion and Legacy: The Cupitt's Estate Journey with Rosie Cupitt

Keeping it in the family. A dream reimagined Cupitt’s Estate was born. Where the coast meets country on the pristine NSW South Coast.

Beneath the storied skies of the NSW South Coast, where the lush hinterland meets the serene sea, lies a testament to family tradition and artisanal devotion—Cupitt's Estate. For over 16 years, the Cupitt family—Rosie, Griff, Libby, Tom, and Wal—has woven the fabric of their passions into this verdant tapestry of vineyards, gardens, villa living, and dining experiences. Cupitt's Estate is not just a convergence of coast and country near Milton; it's the heart of living their dream.

Within this introduction, we explore the rhythms of a family-owned and run estate, where values of sustainability, locality, and authenticity are as tangible as the soil they till and the vineyards they nurture. Born from a yearning for land and a love for the crafting of fine wine, Rosie and Griff Cupitt set roots on a cherished property that blossomed into a boutique winery, brewery, fromagerie, accommodation, and emblem of country hospitality.

This narrative unfolds the chapters of history, from humble beginnings rooted in horticulture and cattle grazing through the dynamic transformation that led Rosie and Griff out of retirement and into the creation of a vineyard and winery complemented by a restaurant borne from necessity and flourishing into a dining destination.

Join us as we share the story of a family immersed in an ongoing venture of warmth and welcome—a place where every glass raised and every plate presented is a celebration of the synergy between land, labour, and love. The tale is one of passion, persistence, and the endless pursuit of perfection, all coming together to create an unforgettable experience at Cupitt's Estate. It's a story best told around a table, savored among friends, and cherished for generations.

No items found.
No items found.

Cupitt’s Estate is a family business located on a 75-hectare farm, 'Washburton". When did you first open the doors and who was part of the opening?

It was myself, my husband, and a group of people that I'd gather together. And that was in June, the long weekend of 2007, and I always felt that it was going to work and that it'd be a lot of fun, and it was, and we were absolutely slammed. We had a huge amount of rain on the weekend, so we spent the whole weekend pulling people out of the bog as we could only park in the paddocks and the tractors were full chat pulling people out. But we had a great time, and it started from there.

People really embraced what we were doing or what we were trying to do, and they've been really lovely ever since. We've been growing and growing, so at first we were only a small restaurant for about 45–50 people, with a cellar door. It was a lovely experience. To help us get going, I employed a young chef, Emma Cobb, who was a fabulous seafood chef, and I sent her up to Andy Bunn at Fratelli Fresh in Waterloo.

We had a little apartment there in Waterloo, and that's how we discovered Andy. I had approached Andy and said, I love your food, and I'd like to do that in the country, and he had our chef Emma come up and work with him for a week or two. Then he came down for the opening weekend, and it was fabulous. He did a really good job, and he's been a great friend ever since. His cooking was simple but so flavorful, and that's why we wanted to have it at our place too. So that's why I asked Andy to come on board. In fact, I've been thinking I haven't said this to anybody but you, we want to get him back down and do a guest appearance soon. 

How many people work for you? 

Now we employ about a hundred people, but prior, it was just my husband and me, my two sons Wally and Tom, and Tom's wife, Libby. Everyone who works for us is like our family. We just got someone back in the restaurant who used to work for us for eight years, and then she moved on to work somewhere else for nine years. It's a good feeling when people feel that they can come back and work with us. It's a big family affair.

You are a multifaceted business. What can people expect when they arrive at Cupitt’s Estate? 

When you come to Cupitt's, it's sort of a complete experience now that we have the villas. You drive in, and you're on a farm. That's the first thing that people see: the cows moving in the paddock. There's a big veggie garden, and we've got a beautiful outlook over the lovely green paddocks and towards the gorgeous Budawang Ranges and Lake Burrill. It's a one-stop shop for people who really love their food and wine; it's a bit of a hidden gem.

I remember when we first started, people said it wouldn't work because we weren't on the main road, and I thought maybe it wouldn't, but I think that it was gleaned from what I saw in my travels in Italy and France with agritourism. So you're there, eating and drinking the local wine. The winemakers there, besides you perhaps having lunch or even serving you at the table, and the guy who's doing the garden, you see him popping in and out, and that's what food is all about. It's a lifestyle; it's a passion, and I love doing that. There aren't many places in France, in particular, that do food and wine, but they're actually coming around to it; they do that more in Italy. I'm also involved with slow food, so I'm all about using local produce as much as we can. We're in an area where not a lot of local producers are here, but when we do, we try to use as many as we can and grow as much produce as possible to service our own menu and work around what we grow.

Our friends are always walking past doing something these days. As I don't make wine or cheese anymore, I am always doing something such as dimming the lights or arranging the flowers and thinking more about the aesthetics. I still haven't finished with the garden because my birth life before I was a winemaker, horticulturist, and landscaper, so I just love everything to do with landscaping. I've created a wonderful little private nook for the people staying in the villas, and it's worked really well. 

No items found.

"I live on my favourite beach, and that is Narrawallee Beach. If I look over my shoulder, I'm looking at the headland at Mollymook. So we're just around the corner from Mollymook Beach, and we've had a house here for over 40 years."

What kind of guests do you see staying at Cupitt’s? Where are they from? 

We do get a lot of locals, which is fabulous because we love our local community and they're very supportive. We are a destination for people from places like Sydney, Canberra, Wollongong, and even the far south coast of New South Wales. We do have international guests, and we're trying to actually promote that a little bit more. But if someone has a car, they can get to us. We don't have a trainline, which is a bit of a shame, but we do have quite a few international guests because we do have a little bit of an international French flavour; they can see that in our wine and in the sort of food we serve and the attitude towards how we've decorated.

You have a strong commitment to supporting the local community; how would you describe the people in your region?

We have a hugely diverse community, and there's a lot of people in particular since 2020 who have escaped down here from the city and they're working from home, and they love it. We've people who look as if they're beach bums, but they might be nuclear physicists working from home, and we still have that core group of people who were born and raised here and went to school here. They're just the salt of the earth people, and there's always some community fundraising for somebody who's actually down and out. So we all get on board to help. We also have a wonderful art and music community down here, and we've got the wonderful Milton Theatre. We're so lucky to have that still going, so we have lots of big headline acts who come down and play there, and it's sensational.

How would you best describe the location of Cupitt’s Estate? 

It's a hidden gem with an amazing outlook that is actually surprising when people get to our place and get out of the car. They often miss the front door because they're actually looking to the view at the end of the walkway. The inspiration for doing the winery was a beautiful old sandstone and monzonite building that was built in 1851, and it was the original house. The house has very thick stone walls, and it was a creamery and a dairy underneath, and the family used to live above in a mezzanine area, and that was a dairy farm. Overall, it was a really pretty place, and you can just sit and look at the beautiful Budawang Ranges across and to the west of us, which create the most fantastic sunsets.

How would you describe your luxury villas? Who was the designer of the accommodations?

We had an architect Brett Sherson on board in the beginning and we also found a company called Prefabulous in Wagga who, in fact, were manufacturing fabulously designed and built pods or villas manufactured in Wagga, and they could bring them to our place at a very reasonable cost. They were very kind to us and let us basically maintain the design that Brett had done for us initially, but we adapted it to fit on the back of a truck. However, the design and the furnishings are everything that I like, and we had an interior design company called Neon White Design come along to help us source what I wanted. I found a lot of the furniture and furnishings so used these ideas as my brief to Meg and she went about putting it all together for us.

We have 10 villas, of which four have baths, and we will be introducing more baths down the track.You can go and hide in the villas if you want and have your meals delivered, or you can dine in the restaurant or head out and about and explore the region around us.

Is there anything you will be adding to the estate over the upcoming months? 

In about a year's time, we are looking at putting in a pool. 

Favourite feature in the villa?

It has to be the bathtub overlooking those beautiful green paddocks up towards the Budwang Ranges.

No items found.

What generally happens on the weekends at Cupitt's? 

On the estate, you can come by for a sunset cocktail and sit on the deck and enjoy the sun going down.It's not just open to our guests who are staying with us. People from all over can join us for sunset hour. On weekends and Friday nights, we have live music. So our wonderful music community knocks on our door all the time to play. Our big day is on a Sunday, where we have our Sunday sessions. Then on Friday nights, we have people just jamming and playing on the deck, and it's really fun, and we offer happy hour during certain times of the year.

Best month to visit Cupitt’s Estate?

To be honest, it's good most of the time. If you're a swimmer, the best time is to come all summer. But the nicest time for the warmest water is actually in February, March, April, May, and June. The water is still 22 degrees; it's divine. It's also so nice to come to the restaurant and sit by the fire during the winter months. So you can come anytime of the year; it just depends on what you want to do. We've got a great golf course here in Mollymook, which is a really good activity for people to come as a group; they stay in the villas and go golfing, and then come back to a lovely estate and dine with us. We can organise a winery tour or private tastings. We are the perfect venue for small functions, birthday celebrations and weddings.

What sustainable practices and principles do you work and live by? 

We try to recycle and reuse everything that we can, and because we're producers, we do have a lot of by-products. When it's vintage time, we recycle all of our grape skins, all of our marc and must, and everything else either goes into the compost, is fed out to the cattle, or is just put straight into the ground. We have a huge on-site wastewater recycling shed that handles all of our waste, and then we've got a big sprinkler system. But everything is recycled—cardboard, bottles, and paper—we try to use sustainable storage in our kitchen, and we have solar panels on the roof. We try to think environmentally happily at all times. 

Favourite place to have lunch in the area besides your own?

On special occasions, my husband and I always book Bannisters by the Sea. Matt Upsons restaurant Gwylo in Mollymook is also a favourite of mine. My go-to for lunch is Milk Haus at Milton. It's very wholesome, and they grow a lot of their produce as well. They're very sustainable-minded. It's a lot of vegetables, but they do have all sorts of food. They cater to all styles and diets, and it's really fresh. It's the provenance of food; you need to know where it comes from.

Best neighbourhood to visit in the region, and why?

Hyams Beach is always beautiful, but everyone always says that. I do love Gerroa, the Blue Swimmer at Seahaven. When I used to make wine at Crooked River with the crew, we would always go there for lunch; it was a special spot to go to, and it still is. You can have a simple lunch and go for a walk on the beach. 

Your most favourite beach to visit on the South Coast? 

I live on my favourite beach, and that is Narrawallee Beach. If I look over my shoulder, I'm looking at the headland at Mollymook. So we're just around the corner from Mollymook Beach, and we've had a house here for over 40 years.

No items found.

Discover Locay Accommodation Nearby

Swipe Left

Explore More With Locay

Swipe Left

Sign Up For Newsletter

Become a local guru!
For all the latest gossip on new hotel openings, great travel deals, happening neighbourhoods and unique local adventures subscribe with Locay today.


Sign Up

Become a local guru! For all the gossip on new hotels, neighbourhoods and local adventures subscribe to the locay community.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!

Sign Up

Become a local guru! For all the gossip on new hotels, neighbourhoods and local adventures subscribe to the locay community.