Di Holding has been called a “Pinot Noir obsessive” and it’s a title she is happy to own. The ‘obsession’ started decades ago when Di set out to find the perfect site on which to grow Pinot Noir. She knew exactly what she was looking for and, in 2002, she found it: 13.8 hectares of dusty, windswept hillside in the Waipara Valley, North Canterbury. Whilst unremarkable to most, what Di and husband Ian saw was a treasure trove of perfect limestone soil that would grow the best, organic Pinot Noir grapes.

Q&A with Di Holding of Fancrest Estate

Why North Canterbury?
What made Omihi so appealing apart from having the perfect soils for pinot noir was its access to SH1 and its proximity to a major city. This meant Ian could continue his medical career without interruption. The hour commute is now only 50min. Ideal for us both. Also the quality of North Canterbury’s country golf courses really appealed to Ian. North Canterbury had it all to make a great lifestyle choice.

What’s your favourite thing to do in North Canterbury?
My favourite is that it’s big sky country. The sense of wide open spaces, fresh unpolluted air and isolation suits me. I love my own company and working the farm on my own frees up my head space and recharges my energy. Our view over the valley from the crest of the fan is to die for. And it doesnt fail to take visitors’ breath away. Working with the farm animals (from huge cattle beast and smaller sheep then wild Guinea fowl and dung beetles through to microscopic soil funghi and bacteria) keeps me grounded and happy; in my element.

Name your top three North Canterbury brands:

Find Us

63 Omihi Road, Waipara