Charlie and Esma Hill have sold their beloved boutique vineyard business, CharRees.
It’s a bittersweet moment as the sale was fast-tracked due to Mr Hill’s ongoing health issues. He was advised to slow down and stop heavy lifting work.
They have enjoyed some wonderful friendships met through visitors to the vineyard, and on their market travels.
Meeting people are the thing we will miss most, Mr Hill said.
“It’s been an experience. We have had some very supportive clients … and people in the wine industry,” he said, including horticulturist, and mentor, Jim Grierson and winemaker Kirk Bray.
“We are going to miss it, no two ways about it,” he said, of the vineyard.
The residential lifestyle property which spans 9.5 hectares on Laings Road, is on the outskirts of Tinwald. The vineyard was established in 1999 with 3500 pinot noir and 4000 pinot gris vines, followed by 1800 riesling in 2008.
The Hills have a few cases of wine left for sale; mostly Riesling and bottles of their Sparkling Pearl.
They are planning a closing down sale on October 18, with wine and a range of household items up for sale. While they have no set plans yet, they are planning on retiring to Ashburton and will take a breather from making any immediate plans.
The vineyard has been sold to Victoria Johnson, of Mayfield, who plans to keep the vines and expand the venue. She takes over on November 2.