If you’re a cultured and classy individual like myself (ha!) then you too will appreciate a wine tour of Gisborne’s wineries.
I spent this Christmas with my wife’s family in Gisborne. The first city to see each new day’s rising sun and the home of quite a few wineries.
With information from Wines of Gisborne, my sister-in-law had worked out a tour of a few choice wineries. Jumping in the in-law’s people carrier, we set off with wine glass and map in hand.
Our first stop was at Hihi (pronounced heehee as in ‘I’m a bit drunk heehee’) Wines – a small boutique winery based in Ormond, Gisborne.
Andy Nimmo launched the Hihi label in 2005. Since then he’s released 26 award winning wines. Not being of the sterotypically pompous ‘wine expert’ sort, he was an approachable bloke and a good laugh.
Andy’s speciality is creating top wines with quirky names. His sweet white blend is called the “Sweet As”, his blend of red wines is called the “Myriad” and he’s currently working on producing a bubbly called the “Tee hihi”. Quite a conversation piece. You can order Hihi wines online here.
After Hihi, we boarded the winemobile and made our way to Kew – Kirkpatrick Estate Winery. Unfortunately our “We’ll be there this afternoon and may order a cheese platter” had been interpreted as “We’ll be there at 2:30pm so put a cheese platter on for us”. Arriving at 4:05pm, we were told that the food had been binned and the vineyard was closed.
By this time we were behind schedule, it was starting to rain and the youngest member of our team was bawling her eyes out (at 4 months old she couldn’t really appreciate the culture of wine tasting).
So we skipped a few wineries and headed to our final stop at The Works. The Works has merged with Goldenvines Estate and so wine production and tasting is held at the historic Works Cafe/Bar/Restaurant.
Goldenvines Estate is owned and operated by 26 year old Tony Taylor, picture above. Sorry about the photo quality – by this stage our hard-working photographer (me) was getting a bit merry.
Tony hosted a very informative, well-organised and friendly wine-tasting session. Despite wearing his sunglasses on the top of his head when it was getting dark outside, Tony taught us how to properly taste wine without appearing protentious or looking like a bit of a dork.
So all in all, we did only get round to two vineyards but we had a fantastic time and came away with a new found respect for Gisborne’s wine industry and wine tasting in general.