The name Dry River carries an historical significance as the name of one of the earliest Wairarapa sheep stations (ca. 1877). This was later sold off by the Seddon government and renamed Dyerville, leaving the renamed Waihora River (circa 1900) and the renamed Dyerville Rd (1994) - both after Dry River - as the only reminders of this part of our pastoral farming history. In 1979 Neil and Dawn McCallum planted a vineyard a few kilometres from Dyerville in a very dry, gravely and free-draining area now called the 'Martinborough Terrace' and they took the name Dry River for the vineyard and wines in what was to become another chapter of Martinborough's farming history. Their dream was to produce individual, high quality regional wines which faithfully reflect the 'terroir', vintage and are suitable for cellaring.
In subsequent year's plantings on the Martinborough Terrace increased and fruit from the more recent plantings at nearby Craighall and Arapoff vineyards was also used. Part of Craighall was ultimately purchased by the winery in 1997/8 and all of the Arapoff vineyard in 2002 - the latter being renamed 'Lovat Vineyard'. In 2002 the winery and vineyards were sold to New York businessman Julian Robertson and Californian viticulturalist Reg Oliver, who owned the El Molino winery in St Helena.
In the period from 1979 to this point the area of vineyards had increased from only a few acres up to approximately 30 acres under cultivation. The new owners have provided the means for necessary winery expansion and re-equipment to meet its present needs and technical requirements for what had become a winerandy with an outstanding international reputation. The expanding acreage and corresponding production of about 3,000 cases/annum is now cared for by a staff of 7 with Wilco Lam as Winemaker looking after the day to day winery functionsunder the guidance of Antony MacKenzie. Robert Wills is the Viticulturalist and he has with him Rob Smith (Machinery Manager) and a loyal team which includes Kirsty Hawkins, Nick James and Michelle Mills. Heather Gibbs does her usual wonderful job looking after the office, which is never a mean feat in these days of red tape and regulation.