It’s only taken Dan and I all of eight months to finally drive out to the Waipara wineries. Luckily, our friend Megan came down from Auckland for the weekend and inspired us to take a drive out of town. Despite the rainy weather forecast we made the most of our grey Sunday with our first Waipara Wine tour of the season.
The Waipara area is well known for its warm dry climate and limestone rich soils, both ideal for quality wine production. Our particular wine tour included three winery stops, giving us good reason to come back to explore more.
A beautiful vineyard located about 6 kilometres north east of the Waipara Junction. The winery is organic and has been using biodynamic practices (a holistic, ecological, and ethical approach to farming, gardening, food, and nutrition) since 2010 and is well known for their Pinots, Chardonnays and Rieslings.
The lunch menu focuses on fresh local ingredients which flavours well with the wines. I definitely suggest ordering more tapas style that way you can taste a little bit of everything on the menu. We decided to start off with the cheese plate which had a selection of one, two or three cheese options. We opted in for the goat cheese with an ash rind and the gouda. I particularly enjoyed the freshly made crackers and local honey with the cheeses.
Dan started with the creamy Jerusalem artichoke soup which he was kind enough to share around the table. Even though the artichoke soup wouldn’t have been my first choice I would have definitely licked-the-bowl good if I had the opportunity.
For mains we had the potato gnocchi with lemon, sage, winter greens (I would highly recommend this dish) along side with the miso asparagus special. Due to being a seasonal vegetable this side is not always on the menu. Looking forward to our next visit out to the region as I could definitely see myself going for lunch again.
After filling our stomachs at Black Estate we decided to carry on our tour to Greystone winery just off the main highway in beautiful Omihi in the Waipara Valley. We tasted an array of their wines and it was easy to get caught up in conversation the cellar door manager. I would definitely be keen to go back to sit outside on a sunny day on their amazing patio.
Pegasus Bay is known for its award winning wines and renowned world class restaurant. As soon as we drove up to the area we new we were in for a real treat.
Although we didn’t get to test out the food we took a bottle or two home after tasting some wines at their cellar door. I can’t wait for our next journey back out to Waipara to check out even more of the restaurants and the other cellar doors.