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  • Kevin Parthonnaud

Drinking from a Volcano Crater

Updated: Feb 19, 2019

In a little harbourside village just 90 minutes from Christchurch, history is being re-awakend in the wine making industry.

Like the original French settlers in Akaroa, French Vigneron Renan Cataliotti has taken on the challenge once again, of growing wines in the area, at French Farm and also on the Eastern side of the harbour above the township.

Akaroa harbour sits within a 9.5 million years old volcano crater on the Banks Peninsula, which is joined to the mainland of Canterbury due to erosion of the Southern Alps during the process of glaciation.

Silt deposits, then forestation and later deforestation altered the landscape substantially, creating unique soil conditions unlike the gravel, clay and limestone deposits from the river systems in the nearby Canterbury Plains of Waipara.

These differences make this a distinctive place to grow wines. Lack of limestone means very lean and delicate flavours

Apart for the unique soil in the area, the geology creates breathtakingly beautiful scenery around every bend. Combined with local award winning cheese from the Barry’s Bay cheese factory, a guided commentary, and characteristic wines, the Bonjoir Wine Tour is a wine tour with a difference.

Consider staying overnight to really enjoy the tranquil and relaxed atmosphere that Akaroa is so famous for.

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