NEW ZEALAND (14) – FINAL


WAIHEKE ISLAND

JUNE 2019

WINE TASTING

As mentioned in previous posts, we’ve visited Waiheke Island a couple of times with our friends on their yacht.

We have, however, never explored the island further than their shops and restaurants which is close to the harbor where most of the yachts are anchored.

Apparently, their wine is quite good … and what better way to conclude our visit to New Zealand, than to taste their wine on Waiheke Island 😉.

The quickest way to get to Waiheke Island is with the ferry … just 40 minutes from the central-city terminal in Auckland to the ferry terminal in Matiatia Bay – about 21.5km from Auckland.

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On the ferry in Auckland harbor

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It was a beautiful day – Auckland in the background

The sea was calm on this crisp winter morning and it was a smooth ride to Waiheke Island.

Approaching Matiatia Bay at Waiheke Island

We’ve decided to explore the island on their Hop-On Hop-Off bus, before we choose a wine farm where we will taste some wine. The bus left from Matiatia Bay and we’ve stayed on the bus all the way to the furthest end, Onetangi.

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Onetangi beach is a 2km long stretch of beautiful white sand and the largest beach on Waiheke Island

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Onetangi beach is one of Waiheke’s most popular swimming beaches … but today, in the middle of Winter, we only saw a couple of people taking a stroll on the beach

It was still early morning when we arrived in Onetangi and we’ve decided to have a sandwich and coffee … just to line our stomachs for the wine tasting later 😊.

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Breakfast on the beachfront at Onetangi beach

After breakfast, we went for a long walk next to the beach … and eventually also took the stairs up to the hill, to see Onetangi beach from above.

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A walk next to the beach

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A couple of steep stairs lead us to the top of a hill …

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Onetangi beach as seen from the hill

Most of the vineyards are close to Onetangi and we could literally choose any of them to taste their wine. Waiheke is known for its high-quality red wines based on Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc grape varieties.

As it is quite expensive to taste wine (at least for us with our South African Rand), we choose only one vineyard – Stonyridge.

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Our choice of vineyard to taste wine – Stonyridge

According to Stonyridge’s website, it is referred to as “One of the Top Ten Must Visit Wineries in the World”. After extensive climatic research, Stonyridge was discovered as the ideal north facing site to ripen and produce world class Bordeaux style red wine.

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Stonyridge is the first commercial olive grove in New Zealand, after vines and olive trees were planted in 1982

We’ve hanged out at their outside tables to taste their top red wines. The scenery was beautiful and the wine was great … I am no wine connoisseur, but I truly believe our South African red wines are equally as good … of course I would – I am South African after all 😁.

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Time to taste the highly ranked red wines of Stonyridge

A wine tasting trip on the second largest island (after Great Barrier Island) in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand … a great way to end our visit to New Zealand.

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Cheers to the red wines of Stonyridge

Categories: New Zealand (Feb-June 2019)

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