Thursday 31 December 2015
At last it’s the end of the year and a wee bunch of us decided to spend the last day of 2015 in Kumeu, trying lots of different wines and buying all the ones we liked. Our sober driver picked me up at 9:30 so we could make a very early start and beat the crowds.
We arrived at the first vineyard at 10:00. Matua Valley Vineyard brought back many happy memories as this is where the whole family flew to by helicopter for my Mum’s 50th birthday dinner, funny I should come back here now that I’m 50! Interestingly the Hunting Lodge where we had dinner no longer exists, they’ve turned the restaurant building into the tasting room. It’s still a really lovely venue. It’s here that I learnt Pinot Gris wine is quite pleasant first thing in the morning.
Next stop was the Coopers Creek Vineyard. Even tho it was just after 10:30 I’m fairly certain we woke up the man who ran the tasting sessions. He had a lot to set up and get organised before he was ready to share his wines and vast knowledge with us. No worries… it’s a lovely place to be relaxing in before soaking up more free wine!
I wonder what gets stored in those big shiny silos that are sitting in the sun getting hot!
Our next stop was supposed to be Nobilos, but it was closed! This used to be one of my favourites, but apparently it has something to do with the council buying the land for much needed housing – boo!!!
Next stop was Soljans Estate Winery, the restaurant there is one of my all time fave places to eat.
Next stop was supposed to be the Hallertau Brewery but it was closed for renovations (I think).
Next stop was a long drive out to the whop whops where they had NO cellphone coverage!!!!! But the drive was well worth it as the Westbrook Winery was set amongst some beautiful countryside. I’m not sure if it was due to the vast number of wines I had already sampled or just that particular vineyard’s grapes but I wasn’t keen on anything I tried there, according to my friends it was possibly coz the wine wasn’t sweet enough for me.
After all that wine tasting we stopped at the Boric Food Market for a well deserved coffee and then headed home to wait for the evening’s activities.
Every new year’s eve night I try to do something different to celebrate. This year we headed to Devonport for a late dinner at Portofino and then walked down to the wharf just in time to catch the Sky City fireworks display. Portofino was great – I think I’ve found a new fave place to eat on the Shore – best Tequila and orange ever!!!