Wine Guide
Craggy Range
Medium-bodied, dark and very good; no, it’s not your next Tinder date, it’s the superlative wines of Craggy Range. The vinous equivalent of a tour of New Zealand’s Hawke’s Bay, Craggy Range might be a bit of a new world newbie but it has a lot to say for itself. Owned by Terry Peabody and his wife Mary, future generations of Peabodys will not have to look far for work (nor will they get much choice in career options). The land is in a 1,000-year trust meaning not only does Peabody has great faith in the longevity of his wine, but in the planet to boot. This means that the Craggy Range can never be sold and Terry and Mary’s legacy will live on long after they’re gone.
Passion turned to devotion
Despite Terry’s background not being in wine (he was “big in the hospitality business”), he had always been something of a weekend oenologist, thus his announcement in the early 90s that he was going to buy a terroir and start his own vineyard came as only a semi-surprise. A few years of searching in saturated established areas – think Burgundy and Napa, he landed up in New Zealand, in the Gimblett Gravels district. With the help of renowned Kiwi winemaker Steve Smith, they selected different parcels of land and planted different varietals including Syrah, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. Add in a state of the art, no expense spared winery and you have heavy investing that is beginning to yield some very interesting results. Smith has since left Craggy Range leaving ex-Giant Steps Julian Grounds in charge.
2019 Collection sold out before release
Critics continually heap praise on Craggy Hill’s signature blends and, like most new world wines, is ridiculously under-priced (a 2016 Le Sol, 93/100 points, one of their best wine and most expensive wines is around €70 on the secondary market). Secondary wines are closer to the €10-20 mark. Sustained growth, however, has proved erratic for Craggy Hill, but that does not mean that you should ignore it. Au contraire, get it while it is cheap as with a projected expectancy such as theirs, one of the early bottles will be a blessing.