At a Cabernet Master Class in Melbourne one winemaker asked, during a blind tasting flight, how was wine number four? Rich, deep red, dry tannins, classic Bordeaux, maybe even Saint-Emilion, said the French winemaker. The master of ceremonies then read aloud from a Jancis Robinson book “how on the island of Waiheke in Auckland winemakers were producing the closest example of classic Bordeaux style worldwide”…the bottle was shown and proved to be a Goldwater Cabernet from, yes…. Waiheke Island.
Ever since then I have always had this dream of visiting the island. My dream came true recently. As I sat on the ferry I looked out at the many pleasure boats sailing, I was stunned at the sheer the beauty of Auckland harbor. Just 35 minutes later we arrived into the picturesque bay. Waiheke’s rolling hills and small bays greeted us and the atmosphere suddenly all seemed very relaxed, I felt like I million miles away in pace and beauty.
Staying at the luxurious Boatshed Island Hotel was such a pleasurable part of my visit to Waiheke, which is located above a sun-drenched bay overlooking the spectacular seascape of Oneroa Bay.
The Island’s vineyards, olive groves and pastureland serves up a feast for any gourmet lover. A leisurely stroll around the bays and a long lunch in a vineyard is a perfect way to enjoy this beautiful island, that takes two hours to drive around, slowly. Looking around the island, it reminded me of the south of England, although slightly better wines…. small village settings each with it’s own character and wonderful gardens. An early morning walk along one of the many beaches is a wonderful way to begin the day, and a drive out to the historic Stony Batter that houses three WW2 9.2 inch battle guns, offers you a chance to see most of the green island.
As the ferry departed, clear Pacific waters surround us, this is the ultimate destination to escape from the rush of Auckland – and try some Cabernet.