Alright, you guys, as I promised on Tuesday, here is another travel story from the southern hemisphere, Waiheke Island. Enjoy!
On a cold, windy morning we took a half hour ferry ride from Auckland to Waiheke Island, the second largest island in Hauruki Gulf, it’s known for wines and virgin olive oil production. Our initial mission was only for wine tasting, but we also ended up roaming around the small town and munch on lots of olive oil dipped bread. You know, grown up stuff.
^^ Our first stop was Stoney Ridge Winery. I was holding an imaginary iPhone 8 (bigger than its precedents and transparent) in the picture.
This was seriously one cool winery. The host was an Asian chick who has been working her way up to be a wine-connsiouner. With the amount of passion she has shown, I am sure it won’t be long. She told us that the owner teaches yoga there for half of the year and travels around the world for the rest. I want his life! Minus the yoga teaching, or maybe food tasting instead. Stoney Ridge is famous for its Larose, the pre-eminent red wine which is sold at $220 a bottle. That’s like twenty bucks a gulp people. (Yes, gulp. Let’s keep it real here, I don’t know anything about wine drinking etiquette. I don’t sip. I don’t swirl. I gulp it until I feel warm and happy). I got myself a glass of it for $15 knowing that it would be the last I could taste it before winning the lottery or becoming the president. The verdict? Nah. I didn’t get it. Should have chosen the generously poured $5 a glass wine.
We then stopped by Mudbrick Winery. It looked more upper class, reminded me of Domaine Chandon in Yarra Valley, Australia. A gorgeous place on a lovely weather day, topped up with having Hulk and free flow of wine? I found my heaven people.
I understand why people fly from everywhere to get married in Bali. Bali is a beautiful place. But if it’s me, I would choose spots in New Zealand. Waiheke being one of it. The picture above didn’t do justice on how gorgeously romantic the dinning area was. Note: Mudbrick Vineyard caters for weddings, so ladies, check out it.
Saved the best for the last, olive tasting. It’s my first experience (cue Madonna’s Like A Virgin in the background). We went to see a home industry of virgin olive oil production run by a lovely lady who patiently explained to us the procedure to make it, from planting until the last step.
She later let us taste for different types of virgin olive oils and two types of herb spread. Never knew that I would like it so much, but I did, I LOVED it! So I bought two bottles of extra virgin oils for us and a tub of olives spread for Papa Geek. Unfortunately for Geek’s household I left my purchase in the bus on the way back to the ferry terminal.
I did pick up a few tips from the outing, one is that, contrary to wine, the best virgin oil is the freshest and after two years there won’t be any health benefit left in it. Another one is to buy the one packed in the dark instead of clear glass bottle.
Have you ever done wine tasting before? Where? And did you like it? Waiheke is a gorgeous island. If we had more time, we would have stayed overnight there. Now, I hope I have convinced half of you to put New Zealand in your travel wish list. It’s an amazing country, second to none with it comes to natural beauty.