The Vineyards


French Peak Wines

  • Hand harvest in April, May. Dry farmed with no chemicals

  • The winemaking techniques are very “hands off”, as natural as possible with a passion for “true” wines: Unfiltered, unfined with very low amount of preservative. Organic growing methods have
    been applied since October 2016 to respect the soil, the plants, the workers and craft the best wine possible.

  • The loess/volcanic soil is perfect for aromatics and gives an incredible amount of freshness and subtility to the Pinot noir, pinot gris and Chardonnay. French Peak wines is also localy famous for it's Provence style Rosé.

  • It is leased and run organically by French Vigneron, Renan Cataliotti, since October 2016.

  • The north and east facing slopes are perfect for a good grapes maturity.

  • The top of the vineyard is at a altitude of 80m high.

  • It has been planted with Chardonnay, Pinot noir and Pinot gris in 1989. It is the oldest vineyard on Banks peninsula and is about 3 hectares.

  • French Peak winery is located on the west side of Akaroa Harbour at French Farm and only 700 metres away from the sea.

  • It has been run organically since 2011.

  • Meniscus Wines produces about 3000 bottles a year and sell all of their production to the local market.

  • Hand harvested in April, May. Dry farmed.

  • Located on the East side of Akaroa Harbour, above Akaroa township, Meniscus vineyard has been planted With Pinot Noir, Riesling and Pinot Gris in 2000.

  • 137m high at the top.

  • North facing and very sunny slopes make that 1 hectare vineyard a perfect spot for growing Pinot Noir. The loess/volcanic soil gives a lot of character to the Riesling which is harvested in May. Owned by David and Gay Epstein since 2009 and run by French Vigneron Renan Cataliotti.

Meniscus Wines

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Below are descriptions of vineyards that you may taste as a surprise wine during the tour.

There are either other small boutique vineyards of the peninsula or we have special relationship with them.

Cross Hares

Whislting buoy

Black Estate.

  • The work to ensure that vines are managed and cropped under sustainable certification, guaranteeing the best quality fruit possible from each vineyard site. These are exceptional wines from two exceptional vineyards.

  • Whistling Buoy wines, is a family-owned boutique vineyard and winemaking company situated within the Crater of Lyttleton Harbour, closer to Christchurch.

  • The vineyard is 2.5 hectare and has a very different microclimate much hotter and direr than Akaroa Harbour.

  • Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are thriving in this environment and from two sites they grow, and produce limited quantities of terroir-specific wines of great individuality and character.

Whistling buoy

Black Estate Winery

  • A family run 24 Hectares vineyard growing on Calcareous clay from three different hillsides around Omihi, Waipara valley, North Canterbury.

  • Nicholas Brown and Penelope Nash are running the estate, winery and restaurant with a deep passion for true wines with characters, organic and local products and work very closely with passionate producers.

  • They care for the land as they do for their own children! And this make that they are very well known and respected amongst the organic and wine industry in New Zealand and overseas for the quality and diversity of their wines

  • Their oldest vineyard has been planted in 1984 and their very devoted team have been growing wine organically and bio-dynamically since 2010.

  • Their love for Banks Peninsula has driven them to work with French Peak Wines since 2016 by purchasing some of their fruits growing at French farm.

Banks Peninsula Wine Tour

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What could be more “A la French” than spending some of your day in the beautiful vineyards of New Zealand? Say ‘Oui’ to this small group tour of the French village of Akaroa.

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