Craggy Range is focused on becoming one of New Zealand’s great wine producers backed by a long term commitment from the Peabody family.
A Family Commitment
In 1993, Terry Peabody and his wife Mary decided they wanted to create a family legacy, one that could be handed down to future generations. They decided they would create a wine estate somewhere in the world with their desire stemming from the family’s love of fine wine. There was one condition – Terry didn’t want to buy into an existing vineyard, rather he wanted to select bare land, an untouched site to ensure a focus on quality from the very beginning.
Their search for a winery began traditionally enough, in France and America then spreading to Australia. An opportunity then brought Terry to the edge of the world – to New Zealand – a land of mountains, fire and ice. Here he saw the potential he hadn’t seen elsewhere – the country’s exceptional climate, a rich history in farming the land and the pioneering spirit of the people.
The New Zealand wine growing regions are temperate and maritime in climate and when combined with its youthful soils, the result is a wine growing environment totally different from any other. It offers the potential of making wines with freshness, purity and elegance; wines that are truly unique.
It was here that Terry Peabody was introduced to noted kiwi viticulturist Steve Smith, and together they sought out the best sites in this relatively young country with the ambition of being recognised as one of New Zealand’s iconic wine producers. They chose unique parcels of land and planted vineyards that would produce wines that were a pure expression of their place.
“We firmly believe that the wines of New Zealand can have a unique combination of fruit purity and flavour with considerable texture, elegance and balance.” Terry Peabody
And so they settled on the Gimblett Gravels Winegrowing district, an ancient river bed of the Ngaruroro River in Hawke’s Bay. The Gimblett Gravels Vineyard, a place of warmth, stone and sandy alluvial soils offered an ideal location to produce high quality red wines including Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. They then took their search to Martinborough, and more particularly, a spectacular piece of farmland in Te Muna Road. With two distinct terraces, the higher comprising of very old rocky clay-infused soils perfect for Pinot Noir. The lower terrace of younger gravelly soils interleaved with limestone allowed for a unique style of aromatic, minerally Sauvignon Blanc.
As the vineyards have matured over the years so have the wines. The winery was recognised in 2014 by renowned US publication Wine Enthusiast as ‘New World Winery of the Year’ with many of the wines also receiving notable accolades and awards.
To ensure a firm commitment, Terry Peabody honoured the original promise to his family of leaving a legacy for the family still to come and established a 1000 year trust, meaning the winery can never be sold.