News: Craggy Range begins major refurb today

Craggy Range Winery began a major refurbishment of its cellar door today in a project destined to last through winter 2018.

The first stage is the cellar door of the Giant’s Winery, which is being replaced temporarily with a pop-up cellar door.

“The pop up cellar door will be a really fun experience, which will show one of our winery spaces – the Chardonnay cellar – that is usually behind the scenes and not available for the public to view,” says Craggy Range cellar door manager Michael Bancks

The refurbishment project is led by Paul Izzard, from Izzard Design; one of the guest judges on The Block NZ.

Fact file…

Craggy Range Giant’s Winery cellar door is shut from 16 October and the pop up cellar door within the Chardonnay Cellar will be open from Thursday 19 October to Tuesday 22 November.

The  new cellar door is scheduled to be open from Wednesday 22 November.

The Giant’s Winery restaurant, Terroir, will be refurbished during the winter season 2018.

Craggy Range one of top 100 global wineries

It’s the Giant’s Winery by name and it’s now officially one of the world’s best 100 wineries, according to the 31st annual Wine & Spirits magazine, published this month, which has rated Craggy Range as the only New Zealand winery to make the 2017 list.

The Hawke’s Bay winery joins other iconic wine producers from around the world, including Domaine Zind-Humbrecht, Duckhorn, Champalou, Louis Roederer, Henri Bouillot, Bergstrom, Stag’s Leap, Krug, Louis Jadot, Ridge and Penfolds.

Craggy Range chief winemaker Matt Stafford said the accolade strengthened the family owned winery’s resolve to be consistently one of the world’s best.

Wine & Spirits magazine is one of the most influential publications in the United States and is read by over 200,000 members of the North American wine community. The publication reviews over 13,000 wines every year.

Top drop at $120… reach for the stars Syrah

Meet the best yet… 2015 Trinity Hill Homage 19/20

Best Homage yet because it’s all about fruit elegance, silkyness and the notion that less is more. This is a Hawke’s Bay Syrah of real beauty. 


The story of Homage

Trinity Hill winery has a big name and its wines have a reputation for living up to the moniker that bigger is better, so I was impressed this month to try a new wine that is bigger on balance than it is on bells and whistles. The wine is called Homage and it is better than every other Homage I have tried (it was first made in 2004), thanks to relying more on the beauty of fruit flavour than on the architecture that oak can provide to wines. It’s incredibly refreshing to taste a wine that stands on elegance and restraint rather than acquiring flavour from other sources.

For this reason I am giving the new 2015 Trinity Hill Homage a massive score of 19/20; I don’t award 19 out of 20 often so this is a high score that I take incredibly seriously.

Homage was first made in 2004 by John Hancock, founder of Trinity Hill Wines, who was inspired by Jaboulet in Tain l’Hermitage in the northern Rhone Valley, which he visited in 1981. He met Gerard Jaboulet and his father, Louis, and was strongly drawn to the Paul Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle – one of the world’s great Syrahs. It’s a wine that can age for decades, changing over time to evolve away from its impressive deep purple colour, massively body and structure into an elegant wine of spice, dark fruit, clove-like flavours with notes of black pepper and white pepper (chemical compounds in the Syrah grape that are natural identical to those we know of in pepper).

Syrah is one of the world’s greatest and most under rated grapes. Many people do rate it highly but it has not traditionally held as great a sway as Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir, despite which it has frequently offered – and still does – far better value for money and greater consistency in its traditional Rhone Valley homeland.

And wines such as the latest Homage are shining a new light on the potential of Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. Bravo, Trinity Hill.