Christchurch has welcomed a beautiful new cellar door and restaurant high up on the hills. Tussock Hill vineyard’s cellar door and restaurant opened in late 2021, the culmination of a years-long family vision.
Purchased almost five years ago by the Targett family, Tussock Hill is a boutique, organic vineyard that sits on the outskirts of Christchurch in the beautiful Port Hills.
“It was always a goal of ours to be able to sell direct to our customers and have a conversation about the wine, the land and our farming practices,” says General Manager Melaina Targett.
Award-winning chef Jackson Mehlhopt (formerly of Gin Gin) heads up the kitchen, creating local seasonal shared plates that celebrate land and pair with the organic wine.
“The food and wine pair really well and we are able to recommend wines at the table or offer wine flights at certain times of the day,” says Melaina.
Designed by Wellington architects Jae Warrander and Beth Cameron, the space reflects an open, inviting, airy and organic feeling “like it was natural and suited the incredible site up here,” says Melaina.
Next to the new architecturally-designed restaurant and cellar door sits rows of vines, where native birds, babydoll sheep and kunekune pigs also call home.
“We wanted the building to feel connected to the landscape. We have an expansive view of Christchurch out to the Southern Alps and our huge windows are able to be fully opened to feel part of the landscape.
We are working towards planting a vineyard at the front of the building this winter so you feel more immersed in a vineyard.”
In addition to the restaurant and cellar door, Tussock Hill will be opening accommodation on site in the coming months, with modern furnishings and private outdoor baths. “Inspired by the serenity of the Tussock Hill site, the two Vineyard Retreats have been thoughtfully designed for the diverse landscape.
“Interiors are influenced by the organic surrounds, from the luxurious natural wool carpet and linen fibres used throughout, to the vast windows taking in the rugged Port Hills and lush Vineyard.”