Winery Lunches, Hawke’s Bay

With more than 70 wineries in Hawke’s Bay – New Zealand’s oldest and second largest wine growing region – deciding where to sit back, relax and enjoy a leisurely lunch takes almost as long as the lunch itself. Heading to Hawke’s Bay to catch up with friends before F.A.W.C. there was no shortage of opportunities to indulge.

Friends who had relocated to Waiohiki were keen to go somewhere local. Church Road Winery was a short drive from their new home and bed and breakfast, Omaranui Garden View.  Hawke’s Bay turned on a stunner of a day so we grabbed a table on the terrace overlooking the picnic area.  It wasn’t hard to envisage the domain dotted with people enjoying wine and platters on summer weekends, but given it was a Tuesday we had the serene backdrop to ourselves.

The grand entrance

The grand entrance

The dining hall and tasting room

The dining hall and tasting room

Perfect picnic spot

Perfect picnic spot

With nowhere else to be, we meandered our way through an impressive menu – punctuated with local artisan produce, each dish was perfectly paired with a Church Road wine – after all we had several months of catching up to do. It was the perfect excuse for being last to leave.

Travelling solo the next day, I drove the short distance from Havelock North to Clifton – the gateway to Cape Kidnappers and the gannet colony – and the Te Awanga wine growing area; home amongst others to Elephant Hill, Rod McDonald Wines and Clearview Estate wineries.

Looking out to Cape Kidnappers

Looking out to Cape Kidnappers

Today’s remit was a casual lunch, somewhere a lone diner wouldn’t look out of place.  Turning into Clearview Estate a group of cyclists moved aside; the uneven gravel under their wheels revealing the unmistakable clinking of wine bottles hidden in their backpacks nestled in the woven baskets.  Suddenly, memories of a hilariously funny afternoon biking through the vineyards more than 10 years ago came flooding back, but that’s a story for another day!

Umbrella shaded tables in the courtyard were in high demand.  The cyclists headed for a wine-tasting – undoubtedly not the first of the day – before settling in for what looked like the beginning of an all afternoon lunch; the Takaro Trails car was in the carpark so this may have been their final stop.  With so much more to see and do, crab sliders with a lightly chilled Pinot Gris were the perfect combination, before heading to my next stop.

Indulge in a wine tasting at Clearview Estate

Indulge in a wine tasting at Clearview Estate

Crab sliders and a cheeky Pinot Gris

Crab sliders and a cheeky Pinot Gris

If you’re staying in Havelock North, Black Barn Vineyards is just around the corner. Take your pick from wine tastings, a leisurely lunch or simply grab some provisions from their store.  Their growers market, set amongst the trees, is a great way to kick off a Saturday (9am-noon) during summer.

Friday afternoon to kick off the Foodwriters NZ conference, we were guests of Craggy Range Winery, where we were treated to a smorgasbord of dishes created by the new head chef Casey Mc Donald, so keep your eyes open for an upcoming post.

Some handy links:

Hawke’s Bay Trails - Napier and Hastings | NZ Cycle Trail

Hire bikes:

Hawke’s Bay Wines – great source on information and maps etc

Grab a food and wine map from the local information office, it’s far easier than using your mobile.

Enjoy!

Michelle

Gastronomic Tourism Residential

Back in Auckland after an amazing trip to Adelaide, South Australia today’s post is a photo journal of the highlights of the first ever residential programme for Le Cordon Bleu Master of Gastronomic Tourism, a post graduate online course.

Fifteen of the one hundred students came together in Adelaide from across Australia and New Zealand for four days of immersion in food, wine and tourism:

  • Workshops and lectures
  • Excursions to farmers markets, wineries and artisan producers
  • Behind the scene tours and tastings
  • Wining and dining at leading bars and restaurants  
  • Exploring South Australia’s gastronomic tourism industry

DAY 1

Adelaide Farmers Market

Adelaide farmers market
Elena talking us through the production process

Elena talking us through the production process

Masterchef Australia's Poh and her new venture Jamface by Poh

Masterchef Australia's Poh and her new venture Jamface by Poh

DAY 2

Peel Street Kitchen for lunch

Enjoying lunch at Peel Street after a morning of lectures

Enjoying lunch at Peel Street after a morning of lectures

Udder Delights - cheese tasting at bronze winner in 2014 National Tourism Awards

Udder Delights

ChocoVino - Hahndorf Hill Winery - chocolate and wine pairings

IMG_5717.jpg

Press* food & wine - shared dinner at the end of a long day

Entree - smoked salmon and beetroot

Entree - smoked salmon and beetroot

Flaming Baked Alaska

Flaming Baked Alaska

DAY 3 - Barossa Valley Tour

Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop

The kitchen from The Chef and The Cook

The kitchen from The Chef and The Cook

Fabulous outlook from Maggie Beer's farm shop

Fabulous outlook from Maggie Beer's farm shop

Tour of Seppeltsfield Winery, Barossa Valley followed by lunch at FINO

Seppeltsfield
Seppeltsfield - The Distillery

Seppeltsfield - The Distillery

Fino @seppeltsfield
Fino At Seppeltsfield

Tour of vineyards and tasting at Jacob's Creek Wines

Jacobs Creek
Jacob's Creek wine tasting
Penfolds Magill Estate VIP Cellars

Penfolds Magill Estate VIP Cellars

Penfolds Magill Estate tasting room

Penfolds Magill Estate tasting room

Penfolds Magill Estate tasting room 2

Farewell Lunch at La Bonne Table

Networking lunch with Alumni at Le Cordon Bleu's own restaurant

Networking lunch with Alumni at Le Cordon Bleu's own restaurant

La bonne table - cerviche
La Bonne Table tomato consumme

What I enjoyed the most was getting to know the other participants – students past and present, lecturers and guest speakers – people as passionate about food and local tourism as I am. With varied backgrounds from teachers, lawyers and marketers to tourism officers, winery and event managers to chefs, caterers and even a wagyu farmer, the desire to learn, grow and promote local food tourism was at the heart of our programme.

While going back to university was a shock to the system, I’m very much looking forward to the next paper or unit as the Australians call them. If anyone would like to know more about the course or has any questions then please get in touch.

Michelle