Waiheke Island

During our first time in New Zealand, we decided to spend the day exploring Waiheke island. By exploring I meant visiting the many wineries there and drinking a copious amount of wine.

Our first stop was Stoney Ridge Winery, one cool winery. The host was an Asian chick who has been working her way up to be a wine connoisseur. With the amount of passion she has shown, I am sure it won’t be long. She told us that the owner teaches yoga there for half of the year and travels around the world for the rest. I want his life! Minus the yoga teaching, or maybe food tasting instead. Stoney Ridge is famous for its Larose, the pre-eminent red wine which is sold at $220 a bottle. That’s like twenty bucks a gulp people. (Yes, gulp. Let’s keep it real here, I don’t know anything about wine drinking etiquette. I don’t sip. I don’t swirl. I gulp it until I feel warm and happy). I got myself a glass of it for $15 knowing that it would be the last time I could taste it before winning the lottery or becoming the president. The verdict? Nah. I didn’t get it. I should have chosen the generously poured $5 a glass wine.

We then stopped by Mudbrick Winery. It looked more upper class and reminded me of Domaine Chandon inYarra Valley, Australia. A gorgeous place on a lovely weather day, topped up with having Fafa and the free flow of wine? I found my heaven people.

I understand why people fly from everywhere to get married in Bali; Bali is a beautiful place. But if it was me, I would choose spots in New Zealand. Waiheke is one of them. The picture above didn’t do justice to how gorgeously romantic the dining area was.

I saved the best for the last; olive tasting. It’s my first experience (cue Madonna’s Like A Virgin in the background). We went to see a home industry of virgin olive oil production. It’s run by a lovely lady who patiently explained to us the procedure of making it, from planting until the last step.

She later let us taste four different types of virgin olive oils and two types of herb spread. I never knew that I would like it so much, but I did, I LOVED it! So I bought two bottles of extra virgin oils for us and a tub of olive spread for Appa. Unfortunately for the Kween’s household, I left my purchase on the bus on the way back to the ferry terminal.

I did pick up a few tips from the outing, one is that, contrary to wine, the best virgin oil is the freshest and after two years there won’t be any health benefit left in it. Another one is to buy the one packed in a dark instead of a clear glass bottle.

Waiheke is a gorgeous island. If we had more time, we would have stayed overnight on Waiheke Island. Now, I hope I have convinced you to put New Zealand on your travel wish list. It’s an amazing country; second to none when it comes to natural beauty.


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