My top winery for 2017
Craggy Range is the winner of my Golden Grapes award for 2017. What’s a Golden Grapes award? It’s a trophy that recognises an outstanding contribution to the New Zealand wine industry and to the people of New Zealand.
When the Peabody family founded Craggy Range in the early nineties, as a legacy for future generations they established a 1000 year trust meaning the winery can never be sold. That’s commitment!
They built a beautiful winery and restaurant on a stunning site beneath the spectacular Te Mata Peak. Landscaped grounds include a lake and a forest. Vineyards were established in prime Hawke’s Bay and Martinborough sites, with a second winery in the Gimblett Gravels subregion. They hired and trained top people to help them produce truly great wines.
Craggy Range has added value to New Zealand wine in our important overseas markets. They have made a massive contribution to wine tourism in Hawke’s Bay and beyond. Their Giants winery and Terrôir restaurant add a serious touch of glamour to land that might otherwise be used for high-density housing or grazing sheep. I can’t begin to imagine how many millions of dollars they have pumped into the local economy.
Terry Peabody deserves a knighthood.
Which is why my blood pressure achieved an all-time high after reading on the NZ Herald website that an environmental advocacy group, Environmental Defence Society (EDS), considered taking legal action over a walking track constructed by Craggy Range on their own land at Te Mata Peak.
The facts, according to the NZ Herald are as follows. Craggy Range followed the rules with an application to the Hastings District Council.
Council Planning and Regulatory Group Manager John O’Shaughnessy said the council disagreed with the opinion expressed by the environmental group.
“Council is confident that the proper process has been followed, that in doing so it has applied the law correctly, and that the issue of the resource consent for the track was the correct outcome of that process,” he said.
Craggy Range spent NZD $300,000 building the track.
Despite having done everything by the book, Craggy Range graciously agreed to remove the track and turn their land back to its original state at their own expense.
They thoroughly deserve my Golden Grapes award.