How many metropolitan cities can say within 30-minutes of its CBD you can find truly world class wines being made? Unless you’re lucky enough to have a retreat in the agrestic “Hamptons of New Zealand”, amongst some of the most expensive vineyard land in the country, you can often forget the powerhouse that is: Waiheke.
The latest addition to the island: Tantalus Estate, finds itself snuggled between long-term players: Te Motu and Stonyridge in the Onetangi Valley. Just like their neighbours, they’re producing truly world-class Bordeaux red blends. Their Évoque proves that Merlot can shine showcasing a gorgeous array of violets, dark chocolate, fresh black cherries and blueberry compote. When it comes to Syrah, however, you need to venture further east to Passage Rock. Linda Jones, the sales manager, beams when she explains that they’re “the most awarded winery on Waiheke”. You’d be hard pressed to find a wine in their surprisingly large offering of wines that you didn’t like. From their tropical-fruit laden Sauvignon Blanc to the apricot and mango aromas that burst out of their Reserve Viognier. Whilst one could write a novel on their gorgeous whites, it is the Reserve Syrah that takes the Player of Day trophy, with its spellbinding nose of crème de cassis, rose, liquorice and black doris plum.
Back on the mainland and a zip out to West Auckland treats you with Kumeu River. The humble expert that is Michael Brajkovich MW is a pioneer of NZ wine and he is producing some of the finest Chardonnay in the world. A recent tasting in London with the world’s most respected experts put their wines next to the best of Burgundy, in a blind tasting, where in every tasting-flight Kumeu River came out on top. Couldn’t be a better time to support local business.