Monday, 1 February 2010

A Taste of Hawkes Bay or a Craggy Experience

Another early morning nervous awakening due to the impending latest instalment in the saga of our beloved football club. We’ve not yet decided whether or not the facility of seeing most games live over here is a good or bad thing. At least today we didn’t ship any more goals. Enough of that.

Hawkes Bay is known for two things. The first relates to the aftermath of a 1931 earthquake that devastated the town. It did have one positive that emerged and that was the concentration of new buildings that echoed the Art Deco style that was enjoying a vogue at the time. This makes Napier an interesting town to ramble around. The buildings are worth looking at.

The second thing is the concentration of some of the best wine growers in the country whose vineyards are well worth looking at and visiting for tastings.

As the early morning drizzle receded we walked the streets to take in the design and then we headed off to visit the home of one of the best vineyards in the area.

The first pictures are a few details from the buildings around Napier City Centre.

Deco detail 1
Deco detail 2

Deco detail 3

A view from the tasting room to the Craggy Range

Another bit of detail

In the afternoon we drove out to the area past Havelock North below the beautiful hill of Te Mata and the set of peaks known as Craggy Range which give their name to the wine that is produced in their shadow. This was to be our only full tasting session while in the area and the choice of Craggy Range was based on the ever-reliable wine writers in our chosen newspapers. We were not to be disappointed. The range of wines for tasting was varied and served in progressive fashion from light whites to meaty reds. The sommelier was knowledgeable and helpful. The only downer was the necessary spitting out to preserve the fitness to drive but it is possible to enjoy without consuming. As you will no doubt have guessed we did not leave empty handed and our luggage to Wellington will be a little heavier than planned. Shame we can’t ship a case or two home, another search required when we eventually get back. Without boring you the viticulturists of Craggy Range know their job and are producing some interesting and complex wines that rise above the vast majority of Antipodean wines we see back home.

Craggy Vines

After the joys of the tasting room we got our dose of fresh air by taking the road up towards the peak of Te Mata walking the last three quarters of a mile or so. Great views to complete our day.

On top of Te Mata

View to the North

The Craggies

Our Craggies

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