SAMPLE GISBORNE WINERY TOUR
VISIT THE CHARDONNAY CAPITAL!
After collecting you from your accommodation or home, we aim to depart Tauranga by 9.00am, stopping in Opotoki briefly for refreshments.
On arrival in Gisborne, Paul Tietjen of TWWines will show us around his vineyard and give a wine presentation. Paul Tietjen & Geordie Witters established TWWinesin1998. " Their wines epitomise what the world has come to expect of New Zealand wine - power, complexity, elegance and excellent cellaring potential." The concept of TW was born on a fishing trip to Waikarimoana in 1997.
Following this, we will travel to the beautiful grounds of Millton Wines Winery for a dedicated presentation, and be served mixed platters to share.
James Millton recently commented in Wine NZ that Gisborne enjoyed some of the best harvest conditions in the country & that grapes were showing phenolic ripeness at lower sugar levels than usual:
"Highlights of 2018 must be the strength of chardonnay, the ripe tropical fragrance of viognier & muscat à petits grains & the lifted tingle of chenin selections. The greatest, heart-breaking problem.... is the invasion of small birds and bees, which have robbed up to 60% of our - mostly chenin blanc - crop. As all grapes are hand harvested, the selection & sorting to remove these tainted berries has been labour-intensive & costly,"
This winery is renowned as a world leader in organic wine. Wines are produced under three labels: Crazy By Nature, The Millton Vineyard, & the premium Clos de Ste Anne. The Millton Chenin Blanc is thought to be one of the finest examples of the variety, outside its place of origin, the Loire valley, France.
We return to check in to our accommodation, The Portside Hotel.
After leaving our accommodation at 9.00, we will visit Kirkpatrick Estate for a presentation & tasting.
We will proceed to Bushmere Estate for a matched tasting & lunch. The vineyard is 17 hectares in the Central Valley Region of Gisborne District, growing mainly Chardonnay grapes along with smaller plantings of Gewurtztraminer, Viognier, Pinot Gris, Montepulciano & Sangiovese.
The owners transformed a kiwifruit & citrus pack-house into the cellar door for the Bushmere Estate wine label in 2004 and the first winery restaurant in Gisborne.
A comment in Cuisine Wine country 2015 was: Wine-maker Amelia Riwai who has been with Bushmere since its inception, produces an elegant Chardonnay & Gewurtztraminer. For something a little more luxurious, try the Diavolo Rosso - a rich, fortified sweet red, perfectly matched with a chocolate truffle."
We will complete the day at Wrights Winery, before returning to our accommodation. This winery has just been crowned by Cuisine magazine, as having among the Top Five Chardonnays in NZ.
Over the last 3 years, the Wright's label has changed focus.
"In 2014 we decided we wanted to be recognised as New Zealand's premium chardonnay producer. We have one of the best chardonnay blocks in Gisborne from the Ormond Valley Appellation, which has consistently shown it produces premium chardonnays. Our wine is barrel-aged for nine months in new oak, a special selection of oak that we have fine-tuned over the years... Our chardonnay is produced from Mendoza grapes, harvested at 25 brix, low yields with outstanding quality of grapes... hand-harvested and crafted.".
Our day will start at 10.00 am with a tasting of the quality wines at Matawhero Wines. Our tasting will be accompanied by gourmet platters ( - a selection of cheeses, salami, pastrami, smoked salmon, caper-berries, olives, gherkins, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, feta & hummus, served fresh ciabatta bread & crackers.
This vineyard was founded over 45 years ago and its owners are regarded as pioneers of NZ wine, especially Gewurtztraminer, in the 70's. The Queen, herself, enjoyed a tipple of this!
Cuisine magazine commented that: "Matawhero has enjoyed recent success with their varietals but the modern style chardonnay is probably one of the most popular. An excellent new Malbec... is a must try - intense in flavour, rich in colour and divine on the palate."
We will move on to Spade Oak Wines where we will be given a presentation of wines by
Steve Voysey, a former Head Winemaker for Montana. Steve has produced blends which will be totally new to your palate. He has grown grapes in Gisborne for 29 years and has plantings of emergent varieties such as Albarino & St Laurent.
Bob Campbell comments that the Voysey’s philosophy is founded on viti-cultural decisions, like planting some varieties in narrow rows at Old World densities with lower yields per vine, or trellising to achieve a low fruit zone – the key to more flavoursome grapes and, ultimately, wines with a lower alcohol level.
We will leave at approximately 2.00pm and return to Tauranga,