As some of you may know, I just recently went on a solo trip to New Zealand and it was absolutely INCREDIBLE! By far one of the best experiences of my life and I am so excited to share with you some of the amazing places I visited during my two weeks there. One of them being the beautiful island of Waiheke, just 30 minutes off the coast of Auckland. Waiheke is essentially the vineyard capital of the world, with a whopping 31 wineries on the island – all are sure to please! Many of the wines from this region are Sauvingnon Blancs and Syrahs, but if you head a little further south to the Marlborough region of New Zealand’s south island you’ll find some delicious Pinot Noirs and Reislings.
For the day I spent on Waiheke I went on a wine tour called Taste of Waiheke, which I booked through Viator, and it was outstanding! The day was so well planned, yet not rushed at all. We stopped at 3 wineries, one of which provided lunch, and at an olive oil tasting since olive trees grow pretty marvelously on the island as well. Here are some of the highlights from these fantastic places:
Stonyridge has some of the best wines on the island in my opinion. The landscape there is simply beautiful and captures essences of the beauty that can be found throughout all of New Zealand, from the olive trees to the palm trees. Their vineyards were my favorite in particular because you could get up close to them and see the differences between the strands of vines. Our tour planned us having lunch here and we were served delicious breads and cheeses before a piping hit spinach and potato quiche – yum! As one of the most popular wineries on the island, this place is a must go when on Waiheke!
Casita Miro is a Spanish style winery and restaurant serving tapas and delicious Syrahs. I loved seeing the Spanish influence throughout their space, including a garden outside resembling the Park Guell in Barcelona. Everything about this place is so unique from every other winery I’ve been to which made it stand out and is why I’m telling you about it now! They have some pretty extravagant wines from around the world, ranging from adversely sweet to delicately dry, and their food pairings are spectacular as well!
I saved the best for last! Mudbrick in itself was one of the highlights of my entire trip to New Zealand due to it’s stunning location, vibrant wines, and deep history. I loved learning about the history of its owners and the symbolization of the chandelier on their wine labels. It was an all around authentic experience and the passion they put in to delivering the best wine they possibly can makes it taste just that much better! And lastly, if you’re one for destination weddings, this is the spot! They host nearly 120 weddings a year, and with a view like theirs, how can one say no?
The great thing about these places is the individual flairs that they have. Each one stands out on it’s own and leaves a memorable impression. The staffs at each of these places are incredibly informative and friendly as well! Unfortunately, however, many of these wineries only sell their wine on the island, while few sell their wine within the boundaries of New Zealand. So in order to try these wines you have to go for a tasting yourself – which doesn’t sound so unfortunate if you ask me. A fun fact I learned while on the island: the University of Auckland has a viticulture program and the students get to come to Waiheke and study the vines and grapes on the island. Doesn’t sound like a bad gig if you ask me! So don’t be surprised if my next adventure is studying viticulture!
Kia Ora friends!