A renewed focus on making customer experiences "world class" has seen Craggy Range receive the best large Visitor Experience at the 2017 Hawkes Bay Tourism Awards.

Craggy Range general manager Aaron Drummond said while the winery always had ambition to represent New Zealand wines on the world stage, they had recently lifted their customer experience to match.

"Craggy Range puts a large emphasis on the customer experience, whether the guests are staying on site in the luxury accommodation, dining at Terroir or tasting through our collections of wines at the Cellar Door.

"For us we've been thinking about that customer experience and lifting it to that same world class level that we're probably achieving on the wine side."


The winery recently introduced a new concept of seated tastings where guests relax in a private environment, have one-on-one time with a dedicated sommelier and taste through the Craggy Range portfolio accompanied by a local produce platter.

Mr Drummond said with thousands of wineries about the only way to differentiate was to provide exceptional customer service that built "customers for life".

"Most of our wine that is exported we sell to importers, who sell to wholesalers who then sell to a restaurant. We have no idea who buys that end product.

"Whereas when they come here on site you get to build a relationship with them and I think that's so important for all wineries."

He said the innovative wine tastings ensured customers who were really interested in wine and food had the opportunity to relish in the wines and enjoy the beautiful landscape.

Craggy Range visitor experience manager Michael Bancks accepted the award on behalf of the hospitality team on Thursday evening.

"Craggy Range is a family-owned business, with an aspiration to become an iconic, world class winery. We work hard to deliver a world class experience to our guests.

"We are humbled to receive this award and look forward to continually improving the experience at Craggy Range in the future," he said.

Those interested in doing a seated tasting, costing $75 per person, can book in advance online or by phone.