Recipe of the day
- AddressChard Rd, Gibbston Valley, Central Otago
- Phone03-442 6110
- Cellar doorMon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun 11am-5pm
Even before you arrive, there are thrills to be had just negotiating the five-minute drive from the highway to the cellar door. Such is the hair-raising nature of its location on a shelf above the turbulent Kawarau River.
Lola on the Bicycle, an impressive vine sculpture by Lee van der Geest, greets you at the carpark. Inside the tasting room, the ambience is relaxed. The site has plenty of history and old photos hang on the walls. Recycled pipes from a 19th-century irrigation system help support the tasting bar.
Chard Farm was an early player in the Central Otago wine story, its debut vintage coming in 1989. Ownership today is in the hands of founding winemaker Rob Hay and his German-born wife Gerda Schumann, while the experienced John Wallace handles winemaking duties.
Our picks Pinot noir is at the centre of the Chard Farm range, and several are produced. The Mata-Au is the estate pinot, while the River Run is an approachable, fresh, entry-level wine. A pair of single-vineyard pinots are made in good years, The Tiger and The Viper. Among the whites, the pinot gris and riesling are consistently accomplished wines.
Plus A close neighbour of Chard Farm is the home of New Zealand bungy jumping, the Kawarau Bungy Centre. Commercial bungy jumping began here in 1988.
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