Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 24 En route to Hawkes Bay, stop over in Gisborne

Views of Gisborne

Today has been all about vineyards. Gisborne was the place to visit in the mid nineties to the early 2000s for wine tastings and exceptional food. There has been a lull for the last few years but Gisborne is back! There are boutique wineries with passionate owners who want to talk to you about their wines, and vineyards are marrying this with food that compliments and improves the wine tasting experience.
We visited 3 wineries today. The first winery Bushmere is fairly new (around 4-5 years old for cellar door, meals and music) the owner David Egan did an awesome tasting session combining food with the wine. The wine was excellent particularly the chardonnays.

Millton was next. It is renowned for its bio-dynamic wines, which is a method of growing where there is no fungicide, herbicide or soluble fertilisers used. It is totally organic. My favourites were the Chenin Blanc and the Opou Chardonnay.

The 3rd vineyard was Matawhero, this was a place I used to visit regularly in the nineties, it was a very rustic and wild setting (as was the owner Denis Irwin). Matawhero's claim to fame was the pioneering of Gewurztraminer in the 70's. which gave them international acclaim and it was reported that the Queen even drank it.
The vineyard and winery was taken over by the Searle family in 2008 and has been revitalised.

This photo shows the old cellar where a lot of the earlier wine is stored.

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