Craggy Range the high achiever
Think back to your schooldays. Every school had a high achiever. At my school his name was Ralph. He was the school dux, head prefect and captain of the 1st eleven hockey team. To make matters worse he was witty, charming and popular with the girls. Everyone liked Ralph.
Craggy Range (tastings) is the vinous equivalent of Ralph. It was established in the early 90s by Terry Peabody and his wife Mary. Craggy Range was created for future generations of the Peabody family. It was a long-term project. The winery is in a 1000-year trust. It can never be sold.
Vineyards were purchased and two state-of-the-art wineries were constructed. The Giants winery is more about art than architecture. It’s the finest structure of its type in the country. I’ve no idea how much it all cost, although I’d have to say it’s money well spent.
I was at the celebration of their first vintage release when Sir Edmund Hillary read from his diary about his final ascent of Mt Everest and Kiri Te Kanawa sang opera. The high point for me was their newly released wines from the 2001 vintage. They were stunningly good.
I struggle to think of a better cellar door and believe that their Terrôir restaurant is the best vineyard restaurant in New Zealand, although they could have chosen a better name for it. They offer classy accommodation alongside both wineries.
Under the experienced eye of chief winemaker, Matt Stafford, Craggy Range maintains a high standard of wine quality. Craggy Range Le Sol is undoubtedly their signature wine although I love the wines from their Te Muna/Martinborough vineyard. Te Muna Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Pinot Noir offer a strong sense of place while the vineyard’s flagship wine, Aroha, lives up to its exalted reputation. Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Syrah has always represented stunning value.
Craggy Range is a “straight A” winery. It’s also popular with the girls.