A SOUTHERN SIPPING SOJOURN!
MARCH 31 - APRIL 8 2020
Another viticultural adventure with Tauranga Tasting Tours
"Don't leave town 'til you've seen the country," the ad says, and we agree.
Enjoy not having to pay expensive overseas travel insurance. No need to get foreign currency before you travel or work out the exchange rate once you're there.
Upskill your palate & wine knowledge Come with us to some of the best wineries in New Zealand. Great wine, great food and, of course, great company.
CHRISTCHURCH & WAIPARA
We'll collect you from Christchurch Airport, having flown you from Tauranga. Our first stop will be to Straight 8 Estate. Just 20 minutes out of Christchurch & 6 km from Rolleston, chances are, Georgie, "the handy huntaway" will meet you at the gate & bound along beside the car until you reach the two sheds that James built to house his small winery, tasting room & classic car collection. Self-proclaimed car nuts, James & Mary Jamieson named their block of Riesling, Chardonnay & Pinot Noir after the classic "Straight 8" engine. They have a 1935 Light Sports Railton which has been in the family for 50 years. This is a classic vintage racing car that is garaged within the cellar door & is still used. "We usually do a Rose, then three styles of Riesling (Dry to Semi-Dry), then a Chardonnay, Pinot Noir &, if anyone is interested, we have a weird Red which is a blend of Cabernet Franc & Pinot Noir."
Our second visit will be to Melton Estate, a family-owned boutique winery, restaurant and Event Centre, where we will have a tasting of five wines & a two-course lunch.
Our final visit for the day, before returning to our accommodation (Tuscana Motor Lodge), is to Lone Goat Vineyard. The Lone Goat Vineyard was the original Giesen Canterbury vineyard on Burnham Road, established more than 30 years ago In 2007, it was bought by Matt King & Marion Seyb, who named it & their wines after Ella, the original goat on site. The vineyard is planted in Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & Riesling, with a little Muller Thurgau, Ehrenfelser & Pinot Gris. Most vines are ungrafted. Matt, who has over 20 years of wine industry experience, including wine-making with Giesen, makes the wine on site. Around 50 tonnes of fruit is processed to make around 5,500 cases annually. The home vineyard fruit is supplemented by grapes from Marlborough & other Canterbury sites.
We will begin our second day, with a tasting at French Peak Wines, before travelling on to Takamatua Valley Vineyards for a tour and a tasting with food platters. They will be in harvest mode, so will be picking and processing the 2020 vintage.
We will then move on to Meniscus Wines, before heading in to Akaroa township. At Meniscus, grapes are grown on the hillside off Lighthouse Road on the south side of Akaroa, over-looking the township. The vineyard is readily visible from the town, as well as the main & French Bay wharves. The grape varieties grown Re riesling, Pinot Noir & Pinot Gris The wines reflect the wines from Alsace in the NE of France.
(DAY 3), we will depart for Waipara.
Terrace Edge will be our first tasting stop. We will have a short tour of the vineyard & olive grove, followed by a tasting of wine, olive oil & olives.
Lunch & a wine-tasting will be enjoyed at prestigious Pegasus Bay.
At our next venue, Torlesse Wines you will be treated to a tasting of port & cassis, as well as wine!
Our accommodation in Waipara is at Teviot View.
(DAY 4) starts with a tasting of 5 wines at Waipara Springs & a small talk about wines of the region. We then travel to Waipara Hills for a tasting & 2-course lunch. Their menu sounds special e.g one Main on the present menu is: ” Venison Salad – Kumara, beetroot, macadamias, feta, with a pomegranate dressing”.
The day finishes with a tasting by a family member at Black Estate.
Marlborough and Martinborough
We leave Waipara. & travel to Kaikoura, where we will stop for lunch (at own cost).
We will visit Yealands Winery (under new management) en route for Blenheim After a 6-minute video in Yealands’ mini-theatre, and a tasting, we will travel The White Road, which winds its way through the working vineyard. This allows guests to get up close to the winery's sustainability initiatives – Babydoll sheep, free-range chickens & kukekune pigs, which help to keep wine rows tidy & with the home-made organic compost. Vine prunings are baled & used as an energy source. The tour takes guests up to Lookout Point where, on a clear day, you can see Wellington, The Cook Strait & the lighthouse at Cape Campbell. The road continues to the vineyard’s largest wet-land before winding back to the winery, where the largest solar panel array in NZ can be seen.
After Yealands we will be moving on to the boutique Clos Marguerite. After they married in Belgium, Jean-Charles & Marguerite aspired to create their own vineyard & looked to the New World &, in particular, NZ to achieve their dream. Jean-Charles, winemaker, is a graduate from L'Institut d'Oenologie de l'Universite de Bordeaux & gained winemaking experience at several chateaux e.g Chateau des Laurets. He also graduated from the University of Louvain in Brussels as Ingenieur Agronome, specialising in soil sciences. He has now had over 20 years experience in key viticulture & winemaker roles in NZ & France & currently works full time at Clos Marguerite.
Marguerite's grandfather was a successful wine wholesaler in Brussels & she is involved in every aspect of the vineyard business.
The winery has been built on site so the grapes can be processed as soon as they are picked. The winery was built into the stone between two terraces, allowing them to use gravity instead of pumping the must. This reduces the risk of oxidation.
We will visit Giesen's Cellar Door (NZ Winery of the Year Melbourne Wine Competition) for a tasting of four wines, before lunch & a tasting at St Clair Winery. Paul used to sell their wines so we can thoroughly recommend them!
From 1994, when wines taken from the first vintage all won medals, including gold, the name Saint Clair has been synonymous with quality and the award-winning record continues today.
Recent significant international accolades include: Ranked in the top 100 wineries in the world(WAWWJ 2017) ; New World Producer of the Year at UK's Sommelier Wine Awards 2017 & 2012; Winestate winery of the year 2014, 2011 & 2010.
NZ Winemaker of the Year (Hamish Clark) Winestate NZ/Australia 2014 & 2012
The final venue for the day will be Nautilus Estate.
Our accommodation in Blenheim will be at Waterfront Motel.
We start the day off with a tasting at Lawsons' Dry Hills, before having lunch and a tasting at one of our favourites, Rock Ferry Wines.
We'll then be tasting the stunning wines at Alan Scott Wines, before returning to our accommodation.
It will be an early start to catch the ferry. On arrival in Wellington, we'll immediately head to Martinborough for lunch & a tasting at Tirohana Estate, with the wonderful Toby.
Our last winery for the day (and the tour) will be Escarpment, where we will have a tasting with food matches. When in London, recently, for a comparative tasting of his Pinot Noir single vineyard wines & his newly released Chardonnay, the Aussie winemaker synonymous with Escarpment Estate, Larry McKenna, talked about the geographic influence on Martinborough's wines. At 41 degrees South the region lies at the same latitude as Northern Tasmania. He drew the comparison to emphasize Martinborough's relatively cool climate. "In the town itself & just outside where the Escarpment Winery is , free-draining alluvial soils dominate. Deposited by repeated flooding of the Huangarua river, they warm up quickly, an advantage in the climate cooled by fresh southerly winds."
Accommodation is at Greyfriars Motel (in the main street).
We'll be heading home via Taihape & Taupo, making a short stop for lunch (at own cost).
Arrival time in Tauranga will be at approximately 6.00pm.
South Island Wineries March 31- April 8 2020
COST: Single $3934.00pp., Twin Share $3600.00pp. (Includes all transport including flight ex-Tauranga to Christchurch, coach transport & return ferry crossing, accommodation, winery lunches, tastings/presentations.) Breakfast & evening meals will be at your own discretion.
Does not include lunch in Kaikoura or en route for home.
Deposit: $150.00pp. to be paid on booking. Balance to be paid by 29 March.
Deposit is nonrefundable but is transferable.
If cancellation is made within 4 weeks of travelling, additional deductions may be made for unrecoversble costs made to venues.
Should the tour, for some reason be cancelled, all monies will be refunded.
We only have room for 12 people on this trip, so make your booking now to be sure of a place on the tour.
TAURANGA TASTING TOURS & CHARTERS