If anyone needs an explanation of the term "stunning backdrop" they could well be advised to detour off the Waimarama Rd and drive up to the equally stunning structures of Craggy Range.

Stand and take it in - that range of Te Mata is craggy indeed, and closer to where you stand you also sort of go "wow" as the still lake, with its croaking frogs and gently circling birds, spreads around.

This is what is termed a "new world" winery.

A relatively late addition to Hawke's Bay's winemaking landscape, but you sense an old-worlde philosophy and desire to make the very best wines possible.


The winery was sparked by Australian businessman Terry Peabody when he visited New Zealand back in 1997.

He wanted to create what he called "an enduring family wine legacy" and when he cast his eye across the rural Havelock North spread the vision was very much there.

"This business is a legacy for the family still to come," Mr Peabody said.

"We have ambitions to grow it further as every business has to grow to be successful - however, the mandate for the future will always continue to focus on producing quality wines."

There is clearly patience and passion in the Peabody blood.

There was no rush to get the vintages up and running.

The path has been a meticulously planned and carried out one - the remarkable Giants Winery and the Craggy Range cellar door are of high standard, with a capital H.

No compromises - it is built to a technological advancement you'll not see anywhere else.

Yet there is a comfort to it all - a family feel.

"Very much so," chief winemaker Matt Stafford told me.

The foundations to it all have clearly been inspirational with this newcomer on the block already gathering international accolades.

Just talking to the cellar door crew underlines that.

You will hear how the desire to pursue the single vineyard philosophy of winemaking was taken aboard - target and utilise the very best land and vineyards throughout the country, and embrace the terroir concept - the right soil and climate for specific varieties, and the right approach to the whole production process.

Passionate is the word here.

Touring the Giants Winery is a spectacular experience.

Again, you'll sense yourself mouthing "wow".

It was all accurately and specifically designed for the job.

As was the restaurant which adjoins it.

Sit there by the window and look out at that craggy range and still pond and give the new release pinot gris 2013 a taste.