Wine tasting in Hawke’s Bay

I guess most people outside of New Zealand think of Marlborough sauvignon blanc when they think of New Zealand wines. But it isn’t the only wine growing region of the country, as long standing regular readers of this blog will know. On Saturday, being up in Napier for the weekend, we took our second wine tasting tour in the Hawke’s Bay region.

This tour began at Trinity Hill, where we tasted six wines, ranging from an excellent oaky Chardonnay to a very fruity Syrah. I went off Chardonnay after too many bottles of cheap stuff from Australia when I lived in Europe, but when you taste a Chardonnay like the one from this winery, you know you are drinking a good wine.

Trinity Hills
Barrels of wine

From there we went to Ash Ridge, which we actually visited on a wine tasting tour last year. This is a small, family run winery producing some lovely wines, including a rather splendid Syrah. There is also an olive grove here, producing olive oil.

Olives and grapes

Our third stop was Moana Park, who produce vegan and vegetarian wines. After tasting a couple of wines, we were shown a little of the estate and told about this winery’s production (they even bottle the wine themselves).

A tasting glass
Wine making equipment
The bottling shed

We also stopped here for a platter of locally produced cheeses, olives and salami. This was a great little addition to the tour, and allowed us to refresh our palates before our final stop at Mission Estate, the oldest winery in the region. There was a wedding going on, which meant we didn’t get a proper chance to see the grounds, but you can get a rough idea from the pictures below.

Looking out over Mission Estate

We also got a wine glass to take away with us, which was a nice touch. We took a tour organised by Bay Tours, which we’ve used twice now and would recommend.

Mission Estate glass

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Instagram @thistlesandkiwis and Facebook.

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