Monday, 12 Aug ’19, raining-stop-raining-stop-raining.
Today we took another tour from KLOOK; Taste of Waiheke Day Tour from Auckland. This tour cost us almost S$160 per person including tasting 10 different wines, countless olives, ferry tickets from and back to Auckland, shuttle around Waiheke Island and lunch. (*≧ω≦*)
The ferry took us about 35 minutes from Queen’s Wharf, short stop at Devonport, then finally to Waiheke Island. The sky was so blue this morning and the grass was beautifully lush green. Waiheke Island is the most populated and second-largest island in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand.
A lovely 74 years old lady with blue signboard “Taste of Waiheke Day” greeted us then brought the 10 of us to her shuttle.
Our first stop was Stonyridge Vineyard.
Stonyridge Vineyard is the ongoing dream of owner Stephen White. In 1981 Stephen returned to New Zealand after sailing a Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race, skippering yachts in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, and working at wineries in France, California and Italy. It was during this 3-year adventure that Stephen came to love the culture and lifestyle of the Mediterranean and the great red wines of France, Tuscany and California. Stephen produced the first vintage at Stonyridge Vineyard in 1985. Two years later, he made the great 1987 Larose that rocketed Stonyridge to national fame, and attracted international attention – a wine hailed as the greatest red wine ever made in New Zealand. To know more about Stephen’s wine please visit his website; https://www.stonyridge.com/about-us/
While outside, the staff lady served us with 3 different wines; LaRose was the first one. And then Pilgrim and Luna Negra.
We walked around the vineyard but unfortunately it wasn’t wine season. Everywhere we could only saw the dried twigs. After took few pictures around the dried vineyard we went inside and had our tasty lunch at the Veranda Café. (o´∀`o)
Sir Kitty the guardian of Stonyridge.
From there our second stop was Rangihoua Estate to taste olive oils.
The sub-tropical gardens at Rangihoua Estate are surrounded by native forest and olive groves creating a sheltered environment. There is always something in flower whether it be a vireya rhododendron, tropical hibiscus or a canna lily. Figs, lemons, oranges and herbs also grow well here. Meanwhile the native forest is composed of kanuka, manuka and mature puriri. At the top of the lawn there is a short walk to a nikau grove – lovely and cool on a hot Summer’s day.
Unfortunately it was drizzling when we arrived at the estate. We didn’t walk around the estate. And TBH I didn’t learn much about olives. (*/▽＼*)
Next stop was our second round of wines at Casita Miro.
Casita Miro specializes in the cuisine of Spain and the wider Mediterranean Rim and take enormous pleasure in sharing our love for fine food, wine and sherry. Casita Miro is all about shared dining and our ‘tapas’ and ‘raciones’ (large plates) are perfect for a fun, relaxed and social dining experience. Please visit them here too; https://www.casitamiro.co.nz/
It was again, raining when we arrived at the little cottage. I had a quick look around the vineyard under my brolly before we headed inside the cottage. Inside we all sat at the long table and slowly sipped our 4 types of wines. Here we tried Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Summer Aphrodisiac, and Madame Rouge. I did enjoy Pinot Gris and Madame Rouge very much. (*¯︶¯*)
Our next stop now was Mudbrick Vineyard.
Robyn and Nicholas purchased Mudbrick in 1992 when Nicholas was 28 and Robyn was 27 years old. One day after a bath in their Mudbrick “barn house” one night, Nicholas suggested to Robyn as they sat, sipping wine on the terrace overlooking the Hauraki Gulf, that they set up a “Cafe”, to produce food to complement their wines in one of the best environments on earth. Robyn stated that if she were to be involved with a “cafe” it would have to be a nice one. Nicholas as an Accountant could see that this statement had ramifications… And so The Mudbrick Vineyard and Restaurant began. Please check out their website here; https://www.mudbrick.co.nz/
The rain has stop but it was very windy outside. Unfortunately we couldn’t go for the vineyard tour. We sat at one of their wine cellar and tried 3 different Mudbrick wines; Francesca 2017 Waiheke Island, Méthode Traditionelle NV Marlborough, and Onetangi Valley Syrah. (っ˘ω˘ς )
One of Mudbrick’s cellar where we tasted all the 3 wines.
Apparently our tour was running late. We boarded the 5PM ferry back to Auckland. We rushed to Oyster and Chop restaurant to join their happy hour for NZ$2 oyester. By the time we arrived there we only left with few minutes but we finally decided not to get the happy hour and ordered their fish and chip anyway. (￣▽￣*)ゞ
And that is how we ended our wine tour day. We had enough with 10 wines today and now we need to rest. We had to wake up early to travel to Rotorua tomorrow morning. ╰(▔∀▔)╯