Waiheke Island

In the late morning of my second day in Auckland I was wandering around the harbor and thinking about going to a beach for the afternoon. But then I stumbled upon a sign that said “Waiheke Island Wine Tour” and thought that sounded like a better idea!

On the ferry ride I definitely got a unique view of the city from the water. It was such a beautiful day! Sunny and a perfect 78˚F or so. (Side note: sorry all of my pictures look a bit fuzzy… something must have been smudged on my iPhone camera? Oh well.)

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We were met at the Matiatia Bay ferry terminal by our bus driver who would shuttle us around the island to visit the three wineries selected for that day. There were just five of us in the tour group, which was nice to only have a few of us on board and made the experience much more relaxing. Easier to enjoy the stunning views of the coast without a bunch of other tourists getting in your way! 🙂

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The first winery on our list was Mudbrick Vineyard. With views of the surrounding dormant volcanoes, the ocean and of Auckland in the distance (hard to see in these photos), it is no wonder that these folks host around 120 weddings every year! It is a beautiful place for sure!

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While we were there we started off with a Chardonnay, a Pinot Noir, and then a Bordeaux blend… I forgot to take pictures of the bottles so I could remember what they were. Honestly everything was exceptionally good, and I ended up bringing home some Mudbrick Syrah.

Our next stop was the Goldie Vineyards. Along with our tasting they had delicious snacks, too. Here we had a Rosé, a Sauv Blanc from the Marlborough region (they just call it “sav” in NZ—which I love), a Merlot and a Cab-Merlot blend. We enjoyed the last glass just up the hill admiring the views of the harbor down below. I would have to say the sauv was my favorite, but then again they are my favorite everywhere in NZ.

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(Ignore the bum knee)

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Lastly we drove across the bay from Goldie to the Te Whau Vineyard (pronounced ‘tee fow’). Here we tried a few different vintages of their award winning “The Point” blend from various years, and compared it to “Le Petit Point” from 2011, which had been a bad growing year. I haven’t had much experience with serious wine tasting before, but even I could tell the difference between their vintage and the petit. It was fascinating to hear about the science it takes to produce great wine!

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At the end of the tour I stopped off in Oneroa and hit the beach for a while. I had dinner in town at a place called the Cove, by the Deep Creek Brewing Company. Also got my beer tasting in for the day!  Not a bad way to spend my last touring day in New Zealand.

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