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We were fortunate to visit Chard Farm in January 2024 and catch up on all the news. Super exciting to try the wines and hear of all the developments. The quality of the wines was an absolute highlight, and we don’t know if they have ever tasted this good. The thing that stood out, though, was how this pioneering winery continues to develop and evolve without making much of a song and dance about it.

The true Kiwi spirit has always been strong at Chard Farm. Fresh from studying winemaking in Germany, a chance encounter led Rob Ray to Chard Farm in 1986. Early advice was quite simple: don't be stupid, best not to plant anything down there at all. The wine critics of the time chiming in with a helpful: ‘If Central Otago wine producers believe they can create high-quality wines, they are seriously deluding themselves.’ How wrong were they?

While you could say that Chard Farm have done it and achieved what many said they could not, they have now embarked on yet another journey, one of regenerative viticulture. While they are members of Sustainable NZ, they know that sustainability is not enough, and that regeneration is required.

To do so, Chard Farm are focusing on biodiversity, nurturing the soils, reducing the use of chemicals and machinery to ensure a cleaner future. Soil and vine health are at the core of this, with strong root systems, water retention and increased nutrient availability. A solar energy system has reduced their reliance on the grid by 90%. Add to that passive heating and cooling methods in the winery, a policy of zero waste through the winery and vineyard, including being part of the post-recycling scheme and using future posts made from recycled plastics.

All of this only touching the surface of what’s happening at Chard Farm.

CHARD FARM

Chard Farm was established in 1987 by Motueka brothers Rob and Greg Hay. They were the first to come into the area with the intention of setting up a commercial vineyard and selected the Chard Farm site after careful evaluation of the peculiarities of grape growing in Central Otago.

In 1987, encouraged by the endeavours of Central Otago’s early winemaking pioneers, Rob Hay planted out his newly acquired orchard in grapes, in the process neatly turning it into a vineyard. Perched on a hillside in a breath-taking southern landscape, the Hay family channel the classic cool climate varietals championed in great wine-producing regions like Burgundy and Alsace to create some of Central Otago’s finest vinous expressions.
LOCATION
Central Otago, New Zealand
VARIETIES PLANTED
Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Gewurtztraminer, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc
CELLAR DOOR HOURS
Mon-Fri, 11am - 5pm Sat-Sun, 11am-5pm Closed: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Good Friday, Anzac Day (opens from 1pm)
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
97/100 James Suckling
Deep & Meaningful: Rich, Textural and Rather Trendy
Oak-Lite: Lean, Mean and Minerally Inclined
Off Dry - Pinot Gris & Riesling Styles
Vegan Friendly Wines

Explore the Chard Farm wines

Chard Farm
WAS $25.99
NOW $23.99
Volume | 750ml
 
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Chard Farm
 
$25.99
Volume | 750ml
 
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WAS $29.99
NOW $26.99
Volume | 750ml
 
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WAS $34.99
NOW $32.99
Volume | 750ml
 
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WAS $42.99
NOW $39.99
Volume | 750ml
 
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WAS $44.99
NOW $41.99
Volume | 750ml
 
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$42.99
CASE/12 $39.99 ea.
Volume | 750ml
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WAS $44.99
NOW $42.99
Volume | 750ml
 
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$79.99
Volume | 750ml
 
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$79.99
Volume | 750ml
 
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$79.99
Volume | 750ml
 
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$79.99
Volume | 750ml
 
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