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Fine Wine and Food Tours
Located in Waipara – about an hour north of Christchurch is organic Pinot Noir producer Fancrest Estate. This small family-owned winery grows exclusively Pinot Noir and is New Zealand BioGro certified. Owner and winemaker Di Holding recovered the operation after a disastrous winery fire in 2009 all but destroyed the winery and the 2009 vintage. She has now released two Pinots - from 2007 and 2008 respectively. The 2007 is quite grunty and big, whereas the 2008 is s lighter style. More on that later.
Very few NZ wineries subscribe to the very strict, totally organic systems prescribed by organisations such as Bio-Gro NZ, and the international Demeter organisation. Millton Vineyards of Gisborne were Bio-Gro pioneers, operating their vineyards using companion planting, and the use no artificial herbicides, fungicides, insecticides or fertilisers. Millton was the first certified organic vineyard in NZ and the 5th oldest in the world.
Biodynamics is a theory of agriculture developed by Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner. He saw the farm a holistic being, where soil health is in balance with nature and also in harmony with phases of the moon. It does sound a tad New Age and wacky, but many sceptics have converted to Biodynamics after seeing a vast improvement in their grape, and wine quality.
Some other Bio-Gro members are: Felton Road, Richmond Plains and Sunset Valley of Nelson, Seresin Estate of Marlborough, Kingsley Estate of Hawkes Bay, and Kawarau Estate of Central Otago.
Other wineries use organic methods but haven’t gone through the full accreditation process – notably Rippon Valley, Stonyridge, and Vynfields.
Anyway to the wines:
2007 Fancrest Estate Di's Pinot Noir $35
A big, chunky Pinot more in the Central Otago style. Aromas of spicy oak and savoury roast meat. Palate of black cherry, dark chocolate and plums, with a sweet ripeness and medium to firm tannins.
2008 Fancrest Estate Pinot Noir $22.50
Smoky, tar aromas and savoury sweet cherry and raspberry flavours. Lighter style than the 2007 and more of a ‘drink now’ wine.
Buy Online: Fancrest Estate http://www.fancrest.com/our-cellar