Craggy Range

Craggy Range is a family owned winery established in 1997. It is situated in the shadow of the spectacular Te Mata Peak in the premium wine growing area of Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. Based on the single vineyard philosophy of winemaking, Craggy Range was the first in the Southern Hemisphere to make single vineyard wines from multiple New Zealand regions with grape varieties matched to place. The winery produces a portfolio of quality wines including the iconic prestige and family collections, as well as limited editions all reflecting the place and the people. The grapes, grown in exceptional winery-owned New Zealand estate vineyards in Hawke’s Bay, Martinborough and Marlborough, are selected for their special soils and unique climates producing wines of character, quality and authority.

The chosen one: Craggy Range Te Muna Road Sauvignon Blanc 2013

My impression:

Detailed and aromatic, with green apple, pear and melon flavors that are bright and fresh.

In the press:

This is far removed from the typical fruit-intense and overtly herbaceous Marlborough expression. It’s elegantly fragrant on the nose displaying grapefruit, peach, feijoa and dill aromas, leading to a concentrated palate that’s rounded and refined. Excellent mid palate weight beautifully framed by bright acidity. Long and chalky on the finish. How good would this be with fresh seafood. 93 Points, 5 Stars – Sam Kim, wine orbit

Bright light straw colour with a hint of gold. The nose is elegant in proportion with lush and mouthwatering aromas of ripe and aromatic gooseberry fruit lifted with hints of exotic tropical and green stonefruits. Oaking is very subtle and integral. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, sweetly lush and ripe flavours of gooseberries and tropical fruits form a juicy amalgam on palate. Subtle layers of smoke, oak and nutty elements add detail and interest. The mouthfeel is smooth flowing with fine phenolic textures underlining the fruit, carrying the wine to a harmonious, lingering finish. This is a rich-fruited and balanced sauvignon with subtle complexities. 18.5 Points- Raymond Chan wine reviews

A little about the winemaker Matt Stafford:

1. How did you get involved in the world of wine?

I was introduced to the concept or terroir when studying soil science at university and I have been hooked ever since. Wine is and should always be very transparent of the unique natural environment the grapes are grown in.

2. What makes Craggy Range wines unique from your point of view?

Craggy Range was the first southern hemisphere producer to focus exclusively on single vineyard wines. Our legendary vineyard estates were created from bare pieces of land so we have had total control from vineyard establishment through the winemaking process to ensure that our wines will be the very best representation of the special pieces of land and that the family legacy can prevail past 1,000 years.

3. What do you love most about what you do?

Being able to see many people around the world enjoy what we have meticulously crafted. Wine creates a never-ending learning experience but one which is very dynamic and fun!

4. What would you hope people say about your wine?

That they have enhanced their enjoyment of a certain time and place. Whether it be at a picnic in the park or at a Michelin starred restaurant I hope that we have delivered something that is complex, elegant and invigorating.

5.  Are you experimenting with any new varieties?

We are forever experimenting and we have just recently released a Gimblett Gravels rose (merlot and syrah co-ferment) and then inspired by our love of Alsace a pinot gris and a field blend of pinot gris, reisling, gewurztraminer and pinot blanc.  There are some very exciting things on the red wine front also.

6. Do you think that the market should influence winemaking, or do you think that winemaking should influence the market?

Tastes evolve and our craft should always be linked to the place and setting at which we envisage our wines being enjoyed.

7. What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while working in the wine industry?

Respect. We must always respect the land, our people, the wines that have come before us and most importantly our consumers.

8. If you weren’t involved in wine, what would you be doing?

Wanting to be involved in wine.

9. What’s your desert island wine?

Chateau Ausone, which is my inspiration for Craggy Range Sophia.

10. If you were to stay home tonight for a relaxing evening, drinking wine while watching a movie, which movie would you watch? Which wine would you drink? Explain

It would be the bee movie with the whole family on the couch and a glass of Raveneau in my hand.


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