High on our list of things to do before we leave Auckland was to return to Waiheke island for some winetasting.
On our first trip to the island we enjoyed archery, clay bird shooting and cider, but somehow missed the wine! At the weekend we took the ferry back and had chosen vineyards in walking distance of Matiatia harbour.
Our first stop was Cable Bay for lunch with a view. After some tapas style dishes and a glass of their Pinot Gris we descended to the cellar door for a $10 tasting of three whites, a rose and a red. We asked the staff about the difference between Pinot Gris & Pinot Grigio… turns out there is very little. Feeling a little tipsy we blew our weekly budget on bottle of their finest P-Gris and one of their reds. Oops.
5 minutes up the road is Jurassic Ridge (great name for a winery!), which had also been recommended to us. It provides a notable contrast to the bigger vineyards as it seemed to be a one-man show. We had a short sit in the sun and look around while we overheard him lecturing a group of Americans. After 10 mins we got tired of not being acknowledged and headed next door to Mudbrick for a glass of their bubbles and more glorious views.
Both vineyards are pretty decadent and offer a relaxing slice of island luxury. There’s no need to book ahead, although when we visited they were both closing early for weddings. For getting further around Waiheke you can hire bikes/scooters and their are various vineyard hopper buses.