Island Life

Conversation over the past year has largely been centred around the question “what will be the new normal?”. The answers to this will be many and varied depending on your point of reference, but for us, it’s simply navigating our life with Covid-19. Whilst this unwelcomed guest continues to plague the globe, we’re fortunate to live life less restricted here in New Zealand. And, as we’re all being encouraged to explore our backyard, over recent weeks this is exactly what we’ve done. A short ferry ride from Auckland CBD rests one of many jewels in the Hauraki Gulf – Waiheke Island. The island has a vast array of things to do, see and experience, but we decided that inhaling calories was high on our list of priorities.

There’s plenty of places to choose on the island – many well-known and paths well-trod. But here’s a few that my not have featured on your list so far.

Casita Miro you stole our hearts …. yet again. The team have a stunning wine list where their own selection is complemented with a stunning array of Spanish wines. The team were (as always) amazing and gladly accepted the challenge of wine-pairing with our selection of tasty morsels from their vast menu. And what an epic job – every mouthful was a masterpiece, ever sip an artful delight. Don’t overlook their range of Sherries. We picked up a bottle of each to keep the memories burning.

High on a hill in the middle of the island, The Batch Winery promotes itself as “the rustic beauty of Waiheke Island, set against the backdrop of Auckland”. As you pull up, you’re not left wondering as to how they arrived at such a claim. However the view wasn’t the only drawcard for us as we attended a tasting with Master of Wine and winemaker Sam Harrop. Sam chooses to make wines at The Batch Winery who run with the philosophy “Passion Matters”. And when it comes to interesting wines, Sam has plenty of passion. With limited stock available, we recommend looking at Sam’s wine club to plump up your cellar, for now and in the future.

We’ve long been fans of cult wine-makers Destiny Bay and recently had the opportunity to access some of these hard-to-get wines thought our auctions. What a joy! Before heading to the island, we reached out to their team to see if we could organise a private tour and tasting. A wonderful opportunity to learn why their wines are so coveted with the precision and care that goes into every bottle. This truly is an example of art meeting science. Should you ever have the opportunity to access or drink Destiny Bay wines, be sure to be at the front of the cue.

Of course these three businesses keep wonderful company with the long celebrated establishments such as Stonyridge, Man o War, and Poderi Crisci through to the more recent Oyster Inn, Tantalus, Ki Maha and Three Seven Two. In fact, you are truly spoilt for choice in any season. Whilst we were tiki-touring the island, we had the joy of connecting with other Kiwis who had travelled further afield for mighty celebrations. When you hear of people coming from Napier, Christchurch, Cromwell, and Invercargill, a little ferry ride across the gulf doesn’t seem too far to venture at all, does it?