Wine Tasting« Previous post in category · Next post in category »
Booked myself onto one of the many wine tasting tours for the day. Opted for a gourmet food and wine half day tour, and was so glad I did as by the time we had gone round 5 different winery’s and tasted about 30 different wines, I was starting to feel pretty drunk.
The first winery of the day was the oldest winery in New Zealand, Mission Estate Winery. It was originally owned by catholics as a non profit winery. We then proceeded to the second oldest winery, which was started by one of the founders of Mission Estate Winery. Now called Church Road winery, it used to be called MacDonald’s winery up until the fast food restaurant of the same name took over the world.
Both these winery’s were over run with sheep which seem to have replaced workers in the leaf plucking industry here. The sheep are confined to a field of vines and left to eat all the lower leaves off the vines allowing the sun to get to the grapes. They do a much better job of it than human workers as well.
We made our way around 3 other winery’s, one the only vegan winery in the Southern hemisphere, and two larger winery’s. It all got a bit fuzzy towards the end of the day, as they often poured us about a half glass of wine per taster! I must admit to throwing a lot of wine out of my glass towards the end. Hawkes Bay is an ideal wine producing region as it has so many different soil types and micro climates that practically any variety of grape can be grown here. This unfortunately for me means that each winery has a lot of different wines to taste.
At the last winery we stopped for a very welcome gourmet platter of locally produced food. There was salmon, calamari, steak, chorizo and wood-smoked mushrooms. The food tasted amazing and was eaten at the same time as the fifth wine tasting session allowing us to pair the food and wine.
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