Day 330 on the Road
Wine Tour on Waiheke Island!
Today we are visiting the Waiheke Island wineries with Ananda Tours! If you like this video and want more inspiration for your New Zealand bucket list then simply head over to our YouTube Channel where we’re doing 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand!
Today we’re tasting some of the finest wine in New Zealand, or at least the poshest.
Today we are having our breakfast on the Auckland Harbour. Yes, despite the absolutely terrible weather we are about to board the ferry toward the beautiful island of Waiheke. it’s the wine mecca of the Auckland area.
As we get onto the Fuller ferry and make our way toward Waiheke Island it’s not exactly the sunny filled cruise that we were imagining in our heads but luckily they do have free wifi to catch up on a few emails.
Luckily when we arrive on Waiheke Island, the team from Hekerua Lodge which is the hostel we’re gonna be staying at while we’re here on Waiheke Island they actually come pick us up so we don’t have to walk in the rain. But we don’t get much time to check out the lodge initially we’ll show you guys more about that later, because the guys from Ananda Tours are here to pick us up and take us on a Waiheke wine tour.
However our first stop isn’t a winery, it’s actually an olive orchard.
So we’ve got a thousand trees up there on the hill and we look after 3 and a half thousand around the island.
Almost as soon as we arrive at the Rangihoua Estate which is an award-winning olive oil factory or farm, I don’t really know how you call those kind of places, Sarah actually takes the time to take us on a tour of the facility before we do any tastings.
And we are here right on time cos literally yesterday they started picking olives, and she shows us what happens to the olives once they’ve been picked, they are being put in those gigantic machines which turns them into oil.
It’s almost entirely a complete mechanical process the machine does it all – it takes off the nuts inside the oil, I think it’s called nut, and also it takes off all the skins and it actually separate every single one of those elements because you can use them for a lot of different things this worker right here tells us that the kind of skin around the olive which is basically just a waste can be compressed and dried and make amazing kindle for its fire.
But you know us, we’re here for the tasting so we are heading back toward the foyer where Sarah’s waiting for us for degustation.
So this is quite herbaceous you cshould get a bit of apple peel and you should finish with a light chilli kick. So once you’ve swallowed you should get a bit of heat coming up.
In the tasting foyer with windows overlooking the olive orchard we get to taste four of their international award winning olive oils there’s bread to dip into them and they all really taste a lot different it’s quite interesting when you get to taste one after the other, we even get an apple in between so we can refresh our palette for ultimate tasting.
What’s really cool though is that Sarah’s telling us all about how to choose olive oil when you are shopping in the supermarket, which is really handy, as well as how to store it. But moving on, after the oil tasting we are now going onto our first winery of the day.
First up, we are heading to the Stonyridge Winery which is one of 26 vineyards that are on Waiheke Island and it’s a really awesome Winery with a rustic setting and the wine tasting itself is very laidback.
It’s so casual in fact that we are not behind a counter with someone very smartly telling us all about the wine, we are actually sitting on a bunch of couches with one of the team member of the Stonyridge Winery. It’s a really cool intimate experience where we get to taste all the wine offering that this winery is making.
But we’re already back on the van toward our next winery, this one is called Thomas Bach, or Bac, not sure how to pronounce this one and it is another really famous winery on Waiheke Island.
This winery is a pretty small scale winery compared to most of the wineries on Waiheke Island and the tour is really cool, it’s basically a tasting and touring while we are making our way throughout the whole winery while sipping on the wines that they have to offer. It’s a very different approach to this whole wine experience things as usually you do the tour and then you taste afterwards or vice versa I really like this approach.
These tanks that you see here they are prosecco tanks they look a bit like Minions.
They are pressure vessels and essentially what we do we start a second fermentation.
We get to taste some really different wines here at the Thomas Bach winery with a highlight being the only endemic sparkling wine on Waiheke Island, but we also get to taste a couple of whites and reds and even a delicious sweet desert wine, which goes fantastic with these awesome views.
We feel so lucky that the clouds have parted and the rain has gone just as we are getting to some of the best views on Waiheke Island and to take in more of those views that Thomas Back restaurant has these windows overlooking the amazing scenery including the little beaches, the inlets of the island, as well as forest as far as the eye can see.
The drive to the next winery on the list, however, gives us more amazing views of Waiheke Island overlooking rows and rows of vineyards.
This is the entrance of the world famous winery which is Mudbrick. It’s probably the most popular winery name you will hear when you go on Waiheke Island it has a beautiful estate and the main house is actually entirely made of bricks, you guessed it, and it’s an amazing place to taste wines.
During this tasting we are actually tasting five different types of wines from their premium range which means that all those wines that we are tasting right now come from grapes which have been grown right here on Waiheke Island.
We are tasting a beautiful syrah, Bordeaux-style blends, Cabernet souvignon, a chardonnay, and Laura is cheekily requesting to taste one of their Riesling it’s what Mudbrick is really famous for.
It’s a good thing with Ananda Tours, it’s pretty specific so we actually got to request which winery we wanted to go to which is quite awesome and on top of that they are the one driving us all around so we actually can go full on on the wine tasting which we definitely appreciate.
Plus, on top of that, we actually have plenty of time for ourselves, so for example, Mudbrick benefits from absolutely stunning views on all the landscapes that Waiheke has to offer between all the farmland and the beautiful ocean views so we actually get the time to check that out before hopping back in the van to our next destination.
But our next destination is actually not a winery, we’ve done enough wine right now and we are definitely really tipsy we are checking out Onetangi Beach which is one of the most popular beaches on Waiheke Island this is where all the locals go to hang out, walk their dog, try their hand at surfing or actually professionally surfing, I don’t know what this guys was all about, and then we are heading back to Hekerua Lodge which our accommodation for our Waiheke Experience.
Hekerua Lodge is a super social hostel, almost every single night they do something as a group and tonight it’s burger night so everybody is helping with the cooking and obviously helping with the eating.
We arrive in their cellar where a lovely girl form the US which her name is, Laura, what’s the name of the girl from the US?
So that girl from the US is called Chipmonk and …