Crab Farm Winery celebrates limited amounts of hand crafted quality produced wine.
Our family concern is situated in Bay View just north of Napier. Being less than 200 metres from the Pacific Ocean provides the vineyard with moderate night temperatures, lessening the chances of frost damage.
The vineyard grows on a site of river metal silt and ex-marine muds. Before the 1931 earthquake, more than half of this area was under estuary tidal waters. This huge natural disaster raised Crab Farm by 9 feet. The opportunity to grow grapes on this site 50 years later was taken up by James and Hamish Jardine.
In 1980, Hamish Jardine studied at Charles Sturt University externally while assisting wine-making at Reynella Wines in South Australia. In 1984, Hamish returned to New Zealand to manage the vineyard now branded as Crab Farm. “I initiated this label after the 1989 vintage from determination and hard work. The first vintages of mostly red wine, were approximately 15 to 20 ton. Today now production is between 75 to 100 ton, 65% white 35% red”.
“I also visit the Northern Hemisphere whenever possible for vintages in France. After my first vintage for Cave Cassinca in Corsica, I picked up 2 gold medals in the Roundi de Paris wine-show, and one gold medal after the second vintage of 1999. Previously this winery had never been successful in this competition.”
“Over the last year we have entered 18 wines into various shows in New Zealand and one particular wine into the IWC Hong Kong. From these show entries we have achieved multiple awards, including Gold and Silver medals and several Bronze medals. I feel every wine I sell, has had some positive recognition, be it Cuisine, Win-estate or shows.
Being a hands on winemaker, I prune the vineyards at Pukera and Crab Farm and finish the wines for bottling. I believe you can only achieve the detail by following the process through to the final result. My philosophy is to try as hard as I possibly can. I build on experience from year to year to achieve quality memorable hand made wines.”
When winemaker Hamish Jardine’s great grandfather first acquired land at Bay View, as settlement of a debt, he was alarmed to find that his new acquisition was covered with tidal water, rushes and hundreds of crabs!
The family jokingly called it “Crab Farm”. However, the great Hawke’s Bay earthquake of 1931 lifted the land at Crab Farm above sea level, creating the site of the present day vineyard and winery.
In 1987 an implement shed was converted into a small vertical-timbered winery. The vineyard adjoining the winery nestles on 15 hectares of free draining shingle and silt soils and benefits from cool sea breezes.
- Thursday– Sunday 10am – 5pm Cellar door
- Thursday – Sunday 12pm – 3pm Restaurant
- Friday evening 6pm – Late