|Craggy Range's Te Muna Road vineyard, in the Martinborough district at the south end of the North Island, is an exceptional estate unique in New Zealand. The property is divided into two terraces: an upper terrace lying entirely on the old, stony, decomposing Martinborough soils well suited to Pinot Noir; and a geologically distinct lower terrace dominated by classic New Zealand greywacke stones, a superb terrior for Sauvignon Blanc. This sheltered lower terrace, along the Huangarua River, is the former bed of this river and its deep, stony soils are interspersed with layers of sand, silt and clay. There are also significant deposits of limestone pebbles that have eroded from the adjacent hills over time. The majority of the vineyard's fourteen Sauvignon Blanc parcels, totaling 130 acres, are situated on the lower terrace.
At harvest in early to mid-April, when the fruit has achieved 21º to 24º brix, each of the eleven parcels are gathered, the majority by hand, and most maintained separately throughout the fermentation process. The hand-picked grapes are chilled to 45(F overnight and then gently whole cluster pressed before cold settling. The machine-harvested parcels are picked when cool, early in the morning, and similarly pressed. All pressings are eliminated at this stage.
The clear free-run juice is slowly cold-fermented partly with indigenous and partly with selected yeasts, and depending on the harvest, ten to twelve percent of the wine is barrel fermented with the balance vinified in stainless steel. The wine then spends two to four months on the fine lees. After a selection of the best parcels the wine is blended, gently fined and bottled in September.