Last weekend I met with Angela and Nick Clifford, who have been in the wine industry for twenty years. Since moving back to North Canterbury twelve years ago, they have unearthed the region’s potential: Waipara is unique in that “it’s perfectly positioned geographically and geologically to grow both food and wine.”
The Food Farm came to fruition when the pair (who also run wine label, Tongue In Groove) realised the importance food and wine played in their daily lives. While New Zealand wineries often exist separately from food farms, The Cliffords have taken an old world philosophy.
Waipara’s microclimate produces a vast range of wild foods. When we visit, on a sunny Sunday, it’s nearly wild mushroom season. Foraging tours take place on a weekly basis and no two tours are exactly alike. Tours include either mushrooming, learning more about wild greens and weeds, fruit picking or sea shore wandering. Visit New Zealand’s only truffière, which produces four different types of truffles. Afterwards, famished foragers sit down for lunch and wine tasting at Black Estate Vineyard. The award-winning vineyard is pared back and true to the region. The delicious food is made from local produce and pairs perfectly with the organic, biodynamic wine.
The Food Farm is based on a permaculture system. A type of organic agriculture, permaculture looks at creating systems to ensure the things you use most often are the closest to your house. In farming, it considers how animals sit alongside plants.
The Clifford Family is continually re-discovering what makes their land and this region so special. Sharing this knowledge with others is a huge part of what they do and their tours are a must for foodies visiting Canterbury.
Thank you for inviting me to experience a taste of what The Food Farm has to offer.
This post was created in partnership with Koru Enterprises, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Explore their range of tours here.