Day 260 on the Road
Wine Sipping in Hawke’s Bay
Hawke’s Bay is New Zealand oldest wine region, so we head to the oldest commercial winery, Church Road, to taste the goodness! If you like this video and need more New Zealand bucket list inspiration, then check out our epic YouTube Channel! We’re doing 365 Days: 365 Activities!
Today we’re going to have a day of stand up paddle boarding and wine drinking. But not at the same time.
This morning on New Zealand’s Biggesy Gap Year Day 260 we went to paddle board in Napier Harbour it was a morning filled of uneven balance and of seagulls and join us now for the continuation of today’s adventures.
We are hitting the road to our next destination of our itinerary today which is the Church Road Winery we’re going to be doing a behind the scenes winery tours as well as loads of tastings.
That’s how a proper tour should start. Let’s fill it up.
With a glass in hand we are following our tour guide outside so she can start giving us some of the history behind the Church road Winery. one of the really cool things about this winery is the oldest commercial winery in New Zealand making Hawke’s Bay the region which is the oldest wine region in New Zealand as well.
Our guide goes through some of the initial stages of the wine making process including seperating grapes from unwanted objects then she is opening the doors to where the magic happens. this is where the wine starts its fermentation process. But most importantly this is where we’re going to be doing our wine tasting straight from the vat during the different stages of the fermentation process.
They’ll crush the red grapes and put the skins and juice into these tanks then we’ll add the yeast and the yeast starts to convert sugar into alcohol and CO2 giving off.
Those massive wooden stuff that we are looking at right now are French oak vats. They were actually the first winery in New Zealand to use wooden vats and this is what gives this really oaky taste to the wine.
Moving onto the outside section of the winery we get to taste wine in every single stage of the process. It’s really cool to taste the difference and all the difference which makes each step of the process in the wine. We start with the first taster which is basically just grape juice and as we go there is a little bit more alcohol that can be tasted. It’s quite fascinating.
During our tour out guide is telling us more about the terroir of the Church Road Winery. it’s actually one of the 72 different wineries in the Hawke’s Bay region. It seems like a lot but Church Road stand above the rest because it is one of the earliest wineries and they established the wine region as a wine region.
And tour-wise one of the unique aspects of Church Road Winery is that they have a mini museum. It’s a really awesome place where we get to learn so much more about the Hawke’s Bay region as well as the wine making process at Church Road Winery.
This wine museum is set within huge concrete vats that used to store wine and you can actually see some of the crystals that have been formed from the wine producing tartaric acid.
But today it stores wine making tools and early wine making equipment which dates back to 3000 years. There’s also a few scenes set up from the early wine making days.
It’s a great place to learn more about the wine making history in Hawke’s Bay and for instance, it was the first place in New Zealand to produce Bordeaux style red wine because of the similar climate to Bordeaux in France.
Along the tour as we learn about the history of the wine region as well as the culture of wine in New Zealand we’re learning that the Hawkes’ Bay region is actually the largest red wine producer in the whole country. in fact, it produces 88% of the red grapes of New Zealand. That’s all your merlot, carbonet sauvignon, syrah — all of that comes from hawke’s bay.
I really like how in-depth this tour goes throughout the one hour and half that we spend with our guide we learn so much about the wine culture in New Zealand as well as even meeting a few people through pictures obviously that started the Church Road Winery back in the days. It’s really awesome.
And the last section of our tour is actually taking us through a massive room full of French oak barrel. which are keeping some of the best wine made right here in Church Road. It’s a really awesome way to finish the tour as we are now making our way to the banquet table that has been set for us.
Here we’re going to be learning about wine pairing. how to put wine with different food and actually get some awesome tastes out of it. And it’s really surprising how selected wine change completely the taste of selected ingredients.
Are you enjoying it robin?
Honestly, the olives actually taste very different after the wine. That is a strong difference.
But obviously we’re here for the wine, wine and even more delicious wine.
Don’t like olives?
I don’t like olives at all. But I have to be honest. After the wine, because I don’t like red wine, the olives taste better.
Is there anything you do like?
I like everything except olives…
Chicken nuggets and chips is that what you order off the kids menu.