Cuisine Wine

Cracroft Chase Vineyard

Along quite possibly the narrowest road into a vineyard you’ll ever see, is the pinot gris-exclusive estate of Alessandro and Wilma Laryn. Nestled in a leafy cul-de-sac at the foot of Christchurch’s Port Hills is the tiny vineyard, winery and cellar door owned by these passionate Italian immigrants.

Things To Know
The Laryns arrived in New Zealand in 1996, planted the vineyard in 1998 and every vintage since has been a real community effort, with members and friends of the Cracroft Chase Residents Association providing harvest help in the vineyard. The name is dedicated to the original settlers and landowners, the Cracroft-Wilson family, who owned all the Cashmere area as well as the hunting chase where the vineyard is planted. It’s the closest vineyard to the centre of Christchurch and the 2011 earthquakes meant they had to replace six stainless-steel tanks in the winery. Since the catastrophe wiped out most of their central city accounts, the Laryns decided to focus on their cellar door customers – which is a good thing. Wilma is also a dab hand at whipping up something to graze on while you’re sampling.

Our Pick
The Grey Pearl Pinot Gris has a hint of sweetness and is superb with spicy food.

Catch Wilma’s powerpoint presentation, One Year in the Life of a Vineyard, for a first-hand glimpse of the grape-growing seasons in action.