Dubbed the Giants Winery, Craggy Range is housed in a structure that never fails to draw gasps from first-time visitors. The dome of the Sophia Room (housing a ring of 5000-litre French oak fermenters) rises adjacent to the light-filled tasting room that offers unparalleled views of the rugged cliff face up to Te Mata peak. A tour of the facility, allowing you to explore the subterranean cellars and private tasting room, is highly recommended.
Things to know
A merging of the minds of award-winning viticulturist Steve Smith MW and millionaire Terry Peabody in the late 1990s resulted in a plan to produce premium, single-vineyard wines from only the best regions around New Zealand. Today the wines boast a proven international track record and the winery is one of the country’s top wine-tourism destinations. There is always a cross section of wines from the three tiers (Family Collection, Limited Edition and Prestige) available for tasting in the cellar door, and the restaurant wine list boasts an enviable collection.
The Quarry cabernet and Sophia (a merlot-dominant blend) represent the best of Bordeaux from our very own Gimblett Gravels, while the Le Sol is heralded as a hero in terms of high-end New Zealand syrah.
Head chef Leyton Ashley creates classic French bistro fare with flair at Terrôir. Expect exquisitely creative things done with seafood, lamb, game birds and pork. There’s nothing more serene than sitting outside on a clear day, sipping a glass of superb wine and watching the colourful hang-gliders and paragliders circle in the skies as they descend from Te Mata Peak to the paddock across the road.
Hours Labour Weekend to Easter 7 days lunch, Mon-Sat dinner; winter Wed-Sun lunch, Wed-Sat dinner