Ireland, Wine, & Farming: How Rove Estate Honors the Winegeese and Land Stewardship

Ireland, Wine, & Farming: How Rove Estate Honors the Winegeese and Land Stewardship

Many don’t think of wine and the Irish as having much connection. But for over 300 years, the two have grown a deep relationship. And Crieghton and I honor and celebrate that connection at Rove Estate.

In the 17th century, thousands of Irish fled Ireland – this exodus became known as the “flight of the wild geese.”

Over 20,000 Irish left Ireland, eventually spreading to all parts of the world. 

But where does wine come in?

Some of these Irish families moved to the Bordeaux region of France and started vineyards. Soon Ireland became one of the biggest importers of wine for several centuries. Often bringing in much of the wine grown by the Irish families in Bordeaux.

And over the next 2 centuries, these families became prominent in the wine trade. Creating wines highly sought after by aristocrats.

They became known as “Winegeese.”

It’s why we have geese featured on our Rove Estate wine labels – to honor both our Irish roots but also the Winegeese who came before us. 

It’s our Irish Winegeese ancestors and the other “wild geese” farmers who taught us how to care for the land – and it’s this heritage that we call to when growing our grapes.

Because we see ourselves as stewards of the land. To produce high-quality grapes and make fine wines. But to also protect the land for future generations.

And that’s our true legacy: as a farm-first winery.

We pull from 5 generations of Gallagher farming knowledge and Irish heritage to work the land in sustainable ways

And it’s not always easy. Farming is tough – but we learned how to be tough from our ancestors. 

Because we see ourselves much like the Winegeese. Building a legacy for our family and cultivating a sustainable farm for our children and grandchildren.

That’s why we share details about our harvest with you in our newsletter and on the labels of our wines. We want you to know what it takes and what we’ve done to honor our stewardship of the farm and share our journey.

“Rove” means a journey or adventure without a destination. To travel, experience, and wander. 

Rove Estate farm and winery is our adventure. 

We took a leap of faith, much like the Winegeese who first left Ireland, and started the farm in 2010 – turning a field of old cherry trees into a field of grapes. 

Creighton and I see ourselves as “rovers.” Because rovers create their own destiny. 

And our destiny is to honor our ancestors, be good stewards of the earth, and leave things better than we found them for our children (and yours).

And we’re so grateful to have you share this journey with us. Rove Estate and our family would not be as great without you. 

We hope you’ve enjoyed the adventure so far – and we look forward to sharing more adventures and glasses of wine with you for years to come.


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