Just a 30 minute ferry ride from Auckland is a little paradise of beaches, holiday homes, millionaire “batches” (Kiwi for second/vaca home), and vineyards. Waiheke Island was our destination today,our final one in NZ.
Our guide,Jo, lives in Waiheke and whisked us off to three wineries. First up. . .
Our French guide shared four wines and four small paired tastings. The Chardonnay and Merlot were our faves.
Next was a Canadian audiologist’ s 4-year-old winery called The Batch. Every single element of production is done by hand, or foot, including grape stomping. The stomping is actually very hard work and gently extracts the juice from the skins.
Grapes here are grown vertically to allow more air circulation. I’ve never seen that before!
We didn’t like any of the wines we tasted at Batch, although the tour itself was quite informative.
Number 3–Kennedy Point–wow. Great instruction from Robb with his sense of humor and storytelling, not to mention fine award winning Syrah and Syrah rose. It’s the first Syrah I’ve ever liked (usually too spicy but this one was smooooth). The vineyard is certified organic, and they have a herd of special cattle for manure, put oyster shells randomly in the rows, and protect the grapes from the birds with netting.
Then it was off to Mudbrick Vineyard for lunch. I had requested lunch here after reading about it online. We were not disappointed!
The setting and food were exquisite! But were our palettes shot or what. .. the tastings didnt excite us.
HOWEVER, a case of favorites from Peacock and Kennedy will be showing up at 1270 in late March. These wines are barely even available in New Zealand, and never in the rest of the world, so we know we’ll be enjoying some very special juice.
Leaving Waiheke we felt a sense of regret that we couldnt stay longer in this sweet paradise. But who knows what the future might hold!!