It was Michelle’s birthday this past weekend and she wanted to head to Waihiki to do some wine tasting. This is a far cry from last year’s paint balling escapades! We got a good group of friends –tim, craig, Sheridan and megan and hit the island in the early afternoon. We hoped for sunshine, but were given rain. This didn’t dampen the trip. You don’t get wet in the wine cellars! Upon arrival we hit a local restaurant for our first drink. We thought a couple more people may catch the later ferry, so we would wait there for an hour. Soon enough we had a text saying they weren’t coming. Our waitress then order us a round of fish and chips… yes that is right she ordered for us. Friendly is an understatement when it came to our waitress. She told us the specials and then proceeded to tell us a round of fish and chips were in order… all while walking away. Awesome. After a mean feed, we were trying to figure out how we were going to get to the winery and asked the over helpful waitress to call a taxi. Of course she had her own plan, which was to grab a customer who must be a local guide, who just happened to be getting the fish and chips at this time to drive us to the winery. It was meant to be! He told us his van was on the street, unlocked and to go jump in. He will scarf his meal and be there in a second. Max, our new guide was awesome. He had heaps of interesting and quirky facts – that were most likely not facts, but his opinion, which really made the tour.
We asked him which wineries we should hit and he was quick to drop us at Jurassic Ridge. The back story was that the owner used to be a geologist, turned neurologist, who is now a wine maker – wicked! What I really loved is that the owner does everything; from the fencing to the marketing to the tastings we were doing. He was so friendly and really took the time to answer all of our questions, without making me feel like an idoit, as I don’t know much about wine. For $10 we tasted 7-8 wines and they were all great. Everyone ended up buying a bottle from him. I would totally recommend visiting if you head over for a wine tour.
Our next stop was Mudd Brick, which was nice but I didn’t quite enjoy as much as Jurassic Ridge. I felt more at home and more open to asking questions at Jurassic Ridge then at Mudd Brick. Like wine, it’s all subjective, but I would definitely recommend both if you are keen for a tour. Both offered amazing wine.
By now there were no more winery tours as it was getting on in the day, so we headed back to the ferry and on to Auckland. Once back in Aucks we hit up Fort Street Union for some beers and food.
I have to say Michelle knows how to have a bday weekend. Great events, great people and great times. Well done Michelle, I’m looking forward to next year’s bday celebrations…how will you top yourself?