Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Wine tasting in Hastings

Hot on the heels of a day biking the Haumoana wineries, we spent some time at the Hawke's Bay Farmers' Market. The Sunday morning market in Hastings is a small scale City Market in a picturesque setting. I grabbed a coffee and we ordered bacon and egg butties from The Bacon Sandwich Co before wandering around collecting goodies and fresh produce. The black forest danish from Harald's Bread World was delicious and I bought a one litre bottle of my favourite garlic infused olive oil from The Village Press. If you're in Hawke's Bay at the weekend, the market is a good destination for foodies.

Hastings is also home to the Gimblett Gravels winegrowing district. We could have sampled some wine at the markets but did a quick GPS search for wineries close by instead and headed in their general direction.

We turned off at the first sign of a vineyard, Pask Winery, and managed to have a private $5 tasting session just as they were opening for the day - and just as a large tour bus pulled in behind us. Although we didn't like any of the wines we sampled enough to buy a bottle, our host was really helpful in telling us about the Gimblett Gravels district and gave us a wine map of the area.

Wine highlight:
  • 2015 kate radburnd berry blush rose. Kate is one of Pask Winery's winemakers and makes small batches of specialist wines. We enjoyed this fruity, slightly floral berry blush rose.

Trinity Hill's cellar door is in a striking building with great displays of their wine all along the length of the building. Wine tastings cost $5 and this amount is refunded with a wine purchase.
Trinity Hill wines and barrels
Wine highlight:
  • 2014 Hawke's Bay sauvignon blanc. This was an absolute standout sauvignon blanc for these Marlborough sav fans. Lots of passionfruit up front and a soft finish saw us buy a bottle to take home.
Ngatarawa has free wine tasting in their farm gate cellar door. A repurposed old stable is set amid gorgeous grounds. We were greeted at the car by their super cute chocolate Labrador, Ra. There were no wines from our tasting that appealed enough to purchase so we took a moment to enjoy the sunny surroundings before heading back onto the trail.
Ngatarawa farm gate cellar door

Our final wine tasting for the day was at Abbey Cellars, which also doubles as a craft brewery. This relaxed wine tasting cost $5 and was refunded when we purchased a bottle. Unfortunately we couldn't sample any beers but learned a little bit about the abbey's history and winemaking traditions.

Wine highlight:
  • 2014 Riesling. This medium-dry riesling (17 g/l of residual sugar) was every kind of wonderful and a bottle came home with us.
There is so much wine and food to explore in the Hawke's Bay region that visitors are spoilt for choice, but we figured we'd done enough for one day - considering it was still only early Sunday afternoon.

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