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All fun and games: Melton Estate


Exciting new things are happening for local winery Melton Estate. An expansive setting for weddings, conferences, and Christmas parties – this boutique vineyard is adding yet another reason to the list of reasons to have your next event here.

 

Three words; multi-purpose games lawn. The new space includes two Pétanque courts and lawns for games like badminton, volleyball, and croquet.

But it does not end there. In collaboration with Garden City Helicopters, customers can purchase a package that takes them from the airport to Melton Estate for lunch via helicopter – only to land on the new games lawn.

In true form of out with the old and in with the new, a brand-new vineyard has been planted next to the games lawn growing chardonnay and pinot grapes, two of Melton Estate’s signature wines.

Make the most of your event this summer by choosing Melton Estate. The new lawn can be booked as a part of your conference, wedding, or Christmas event.

For more information contact Philip Caunter on 021 350 531 or email philip@meltonestate.co.nz.


 

Grape Expectations: Melton Estate


Nestled comfortably on a 12-acre block on Weedons Ross Road, West Melton, Melton Estate is, at its heart, a modern restaurant and event venue, but it’s the boutique winery which is meeting the grape expectations of a loyal and growing patronage.

 

PHOTO KORU PHOTOGRAPHY

 

Owner and wine afficionado Philip Caunter says that while the popular winery – surrounded by lush pinot noir vines – supplies Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay, Méthode Traditionnelle, Sauvignon Blanc and the increasingly popular Rosé, it is the Sparkling Riesling known as ‘Summer Love’ which has earned widespread acclaim.

“We’ve been making Summer Love for 11 years now,” Philip says.

“Every year it’s extremely popular across a broad range of people. Its popularity has really surpassed expectations.”

To describe this tasty tipple as a Sparkling Riesling with a bit of pinot added to the mix may over-simplify the time, talent and labour-intensive process of vinification, but equally, it can be described as fun in a bottle.

“Summer Love is about fun, celebrating, coming together,” Philip says.

“It’s just slightly sparkling, or what the Italians call frizzante; it resonates with people who want something that’s a little bit fun.”

When it comes to celebrating, their French-style champagne Méthode Traditionnelle, is another top drop.

At this time of year, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are on the online order for many Melton Estate customers, while in summer the fruity Rosé comes out of hibernation.

“We’ve had a great year in the vineyard and look forward to releasing more new wines,” Philip says.

“We enjoy the fact that people enjoy it; everything else flows on from that.”


 

Why Waipara Springs Winery?


The Waipara wine region, an hour north of Christchurch, boasts 75 vineyards and stretches over more than 1,200 hectares of plantings. It is renowned for the amazing pinot noirs and rieslings that are produced there. But every great region has an equally great origin story; a pioneer in the trade and for this particular district… it was the Waipara Springs Winery.

 

 

Established in 1981, the Moore family pioneered the planting of the first vines in the valley.

Having bottled their first vintage in 1989 and officially opening the restaurant in 1990, the proud original North Canterbury family will be celebrating their 30th anniversary in October this year.

The family owned and operated business is in its third generation.

But that doesn’t stop first owner Jill Moore from sitting down behind the Cellar Door telling a collection of her most cherished stories while running you through the wines.

Whether it’s about the original building being a horse stable or the unique climate of the Waipara Valley – there’s never a dull moment.

The Waipara Springs Winery is already locally recognised and loved, so why not go out and have a look at what everyone is raving about.

Current owners, Katie Lumber and Andrew Moore, expressed that “We are about offering a memorable experience,”. Their motto is “wine dine relax” and they certainly have plenty to offer; casual dining, group lunch bookings, hens’ parties, corporate functions, weddings and (you guessed it) wine tastings.

This hidden gem is only a short drive from Christchurch… so what are you waiting for?


 

Stellar Vintage


The anticipation is building at Cross Hares Wines; the 2020 grape harvest is about to begin.

“This looks like being a stellar vintage,” owner Natalie Edwards says.

“The quality and quantity of the fruit on the vines is superb. The weather over the ripening period has been settled and we haven’t had any major rain events, hail damage or disease. Our very own pest controller — our 12-year old daughter Tessa — has been hard at work under the nets, removing every single animal or avian pest. The pheasants, sparrows, rabbits and hares don’t stand a chance with her on the hunt!”

From their one-and-a-half hectares, Natalie and Warrick Edwards hope to pick five tonnes of pinot noir grapes and 10 tonnes of pinot gris.

“With 15 to 20 pickers, the harvest will take a couple of days,” Natalie says.

“It’s all handpicked to maintain the quality. There is nothing more satisfying than hearing the sound of a bunch of grapes hitting the bottom of a plastic bucket.”

Quality fruit means quality wine to come.

“We have just cellared the 2018 pinot noir. The fruit last year was top quality too, so we can’t wait to hear our customers’ reactions to the wine when it is released in June.”

Cross Hares has already made a mark with its wine at the NZ Wine Awards with bronze awards for their 2016 pinot gris and 2017 pinot noir.

“A good start,” Natalie laughs. “But now I’m spurred on to do even better – nothing less than silver or gold.”

For more information email sales@crosshares.nz.


 

Divine Vines


Only 15 minutes from Christchurch Airport, the beautiful Melton Estate is a family-owned boutique winery, restaurant and event venue. Set amidst 12 acres of vines, visitors can relax on the expansive deck and take in the beautiful surroundings the of lawns, gardens and the lush pinot noir vines surrounding the restaurant.

 

 

The winery restaurant has multiple indoor/outdoor options and, with full conference facilities available, it’s the perfect venue for weddings, family celebrations, Christmas parties, corporate events, live shows, wine events and so much more.

All Melton Estate wines are available at cellar door prices and you put a smile on the face of the family member or friend who is impossible to buy for but appreciates a really good New Zealand wine, with a gift voucher from one of Canterbury’s most favourite wineries.

Find Melton Estate at Weedons Ross Road, West Melton, phone 03 347 4968 or email info@meltonestate.co.nz.


 

A vintage year: Cross Hares


The daffodils are in full flower, lambs are frolicking and the vines at Cross Hares are already forming new buds of spring.

 

 

For vintners Natalie and Warrick Edwards, it’s been a busy year at the vineyard, but the rewards have been worth all the hard work and anxiety, as by early October they hope to have their cellar door open – “Finally!” Natalie laughs – and the bottling completed of their latest pinot noir, Fork in the Road.

Natalie says the wording on the label of this latest batch pretty much describes the journey from harvest to production to bottling. “It really was a pinot made with love, dedication and the occasional tear… but we got there.”

Another triumph for this gritty, Kiwis-can-do-anything couple is that three of their wines achieved top star ratings from Sam Kim of Wine Orbit this year. All wines are tasted blind by Sam, and the notes on each are solely written by him. Cross Hares’ Ahuriri Run Pinot Gris 2017 and Greenman Pinot Noir 2017 both scored five stars, while their Ahuriri Run Pinot Gris 2018 scored 4.5 stars.

Natalie says they are looking forward to showcasing their wines at the Akaroa FrenchFest from 11 to 13 October 2019 and the Banks Peninsula Festival at Orton Bradley Park, 22 February 2020.

“It’s a celebration – of creating our own label, becoming a local identity and doing what we love!”

Find Cross Hares at 7/1269 Christchurch Akaroa Road, Tai Tapu, phone 027 724 3015, email sales@crosshares.nz or visit www.crosshares.nz.

 


 

Home of fine wine: Clark Estate


Clark Estate needs no introduction for budding wine connoisseurs.

 

 

The family owned 36-acre vineyard in the Upper Awatere Valley in Marlborough is home to some of the most delectable vintages in the South Island. One could describe the wines of Clark Estate in three words – powerful, vibrant and authentic.

Powerful in terms of flavour, vibrant in terms of brand and wines, and Clark Estate being an authentic New Zealand owned family business.

Those in Blenheim can sample the wines of Clark Estate through the Cellar Door. Located in the front courtyard of Dodson Street Restaurant and Beer Garden, keen devourers of the finest vintage can partake in Clark Estate Wine tastings from 4:30pm-7:30pm Tuesday to Friday, from October until March.

For more information on Clark Estate and its wines, visit www.clarkestate.com or www.facebook.com/clarkestatewine.

 

 


 

A noble tipple: Clark Estate Winery


Clark Estate Winery’s new wild-fermented range Clericus offers a broader, more sophisticated taste. A derivative of Clark, Clericus is a word associated with the most noble scholars in Roman society – and the exquisite selection is certainly worthy of its namesake.

 

 

Slowly ageing since 2016, the Clericus range includes a Wild Sauvignon Blanc – described as classic barrel wild-fermented style, stacked with smoked passionfruit, bruised basil, toasty marzipan notes, soft pepper and lemongrass layers – as well as a beautiful Pinot Gris and a Pinot Noir (complete with a Gold medal for its stunning label at the Print Awards). “It’s for the New Zealander who wants something different.”

Clark Estate is a small Kiwi-owned winery, run by co-founder Peter Clark, his winemaker son Simon, and daughter Sarah, who describes the company as authentic, powerful and vibrant. “We are a true family business and it really is just the three of us. We do everything ourselves, from viticulture to sales, and being locally owned is one of our unique points of difference – many Kiwis don’t realise a lot of New Zealand vineyards are owned by international companies. We are passionate about everything we do.”

 

 

Based in Blenheim, the award-winning vineyard has a large following of national and international customers. The range is available to order online. Visit www.clarkestate.com or call Sarah on 021 386 831.


 

Seek Spy, find why: Spy Valley Wines


Hidden in the heart of Marlborough, New Zealand, you’ll find family owned estate Spy Valley Wines featuring award-winning, sustainably crafted wines that capture the unique time and place of every harvest.

 

 

Six varieties of grapes are grown on more than 160 hectares of pristine vineyards. It just so happens that the winery and tasting room share the valley with a satellite communication station that finds the terroir perfect for spying too.

Unlike the world of espionage, Spy Valley wine has demanded global attention; the wine has been called ‘impossible to ignore’ and the company is among the planet’s 20 most notable new producers.

Visit Spy Valley’s family-friendly tasting room any time of year where you can relax and enjoy breath-taking scenery and award-winning architecture. Open Monday to Friday from 10:30am to 4:30pm during the winter.

If you seek a vibrant, crisp, exciting wine that surprises and delights, this is it; wines which are refreshing on hot days and comforting on cool ones. When you find one, #seekspy.


 

Cross Hares Winery

Year of the Hare: Cross Hares Winery


They may describe themselves as ‘accidental winegrowers’, but Natalie and Warrick Edwards, of Cross Hares Winery, have certainly proved that where there’s a will, there’s a way.

 

Cross Hares Winery

 

After the September 2010 earthquake saw the Edwards’ family having to farewell their irreparable home forever, Natalie and Warrick had to seriously rethink their lives. “So, we bought a rundown vineyard, as you do,” Natalie laughs. “We knew nothing about growing grapes, but we’re not afraid of hard work, so we rolled up our sleeves and got busy.”

Fast forward to 2014 and our stalwart couple found themselves doing the hard slog of tightening wires, mending broken poles, lifting irrigation lines and repairing irrigation leaks – all 100 of them! Next step was to get expert advice. Lincoln University lecturer and vineyard owner Glen Creasy was the man who helped regenerate and restore the neglected vines to their former glory; so much so that Natalie and Warrick felt confident to approach The Crater Rim Winery and re-establish a former connection whereby they would sell their fruit to them.

 

Cross Hares Winery

Their vintage 2016 saw a bumper yield of 6.9 tonnes of Pinot Noir and 7.1 tonnes of Pinot Gris harvested for The Crater Rim while later, another 3.5 tonnes of Pinot Gris were picked for themselves. ‘Ahuriri Run’ (named in tribute to the vineyard being formerly part of the Rhodes’ brothers Ahuriri Run) produced 2,800 bottles.

Torrential rain in February 2017 drastically cut their expected fruit yield, but taking it on the chin, as all good farmers must, they harvested the 4.0 tonnes in total that remained and produced their 2017 ‘Ahuriri Run’ Pinot Gris and 2017 ‘Greenman’ Pinot Noir.

 

Cross Hares Winery

In September, the vintage 2018 Pinot Noir will be bottled. Natalie says they can’t wait, but in the meantime, the very important decision of what to call it has to be made. Cross Hares may well be Banks Peninsula’s best kept secret, but with an increasing remote online sales presence, plus the projected launch of an onsite cellar door at year’s end, expect the name, just like those hares, to be crossing your path very soon.

 


Located at 7/1269 Christchurch Akaroa Road, Tai Tapu. For more information phone 027 724 3015 or email
sales@crosshares.co.nz.