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Less than an hour’s drive from Auckland you’ll find Matakana, this much-loved coastal getaway, a favourite amongst locals and holidaymakers alike. In exploring the region you’ll discover that exquisite wine and good food is never far away, and that time moves at its own gentle pace in this bountiful part of the world. This is a weekend getaway not to be missed.
Arrive in Matakana early to enjoy the weekly Farmers’ Market (open 8am – 1pm). Sip on a coffee, chat to locals and stock up on fresh, local produce – chutneys, cheeses and home-grown veg. The buffalo burgers, whitebait fritters and fish tacos are a local specialty, so grab yourself something to eat and find a quiet, shady spot to sit and relax. After taking in your fill of the markets, browse the antique stores and fashion boutiques of the village, before heading to Omaha Bay Vineyard (OBV) for your first wine-tasting.
OBV adorns a hilltop with a 360-degree view overlooking orchards, farmlands and the Hauraki Gulf. This vineyard produces some of the region’s loveliest reds including syrah, a bordeaux blend and montepulciano. Our pick, however, is the pinot gris which offers a fresh, dry finish with hints of toffee, citrus and pear.
Next stop is Hyperion, a tiny, boutique vineyard that produces wines exclusively from Matakana. The cellar door is housed in a converted cowshed, offering a rustic wine-tasting experience as well as a delightful range of wines to try. Hyperion produces the region’s only pinot noir, as well as Matakana’s only 100 per cent cabernet sauvignon.
Time to eat, so head to Plume for a long leisurely lunch and a bit more wine. The Runner Duck reds are produced from the small three ha vineyard surrounding the restaurant, the perfect complement to any meal.
After lunch, drive to Tawharanui Regional Park and enjoy a stroll along one of its magnificent beaches. Or, head back to the village for a lazy afternoon and matinee at Auckland’s cutest, boutique cinema.
Dinner at the newly refurbished Matakana Village Pub (est. 1903) is a must-do before bedding down at one the regions lovely B&Bs or luxury lodges.
Start your day with a coffee and a leisurely walk along the beautiful Brick Bay Sculpture Trail near Snells Beach, Warkworth. Then enjoy a well-earned wine-tasting at Brick Bay Wines overlooking the lake and taking in the laid-back, peaceful vibe.
Halfway between Warkworth and Snells Beach is Mahurangi River Winery & Restaurant. With spectacular views across rolling hills and valleys and a menu that celebrates the best of New Zealand, this is the perfect stop for lunch. All wines under the Mahurangi River labels are grown on site and offer exquisite drinking. If you love rich, opulent chardonnays, try the Field of Grace Reserve Chardonnay.
Ransom Wines is the final cellar door to be found en route back to Auckland. All of the wines are estate-grown and made on site by Ransoms’ son, Gabriel. As well as offering an extensive range of red and white wines, Ransom is one of the few vineyards in New Zealand to grow carmenère, the lost grape of Bordeaux. The warm hospitality of Robin & Marion Ransom, makes this a memorable last stop - a great wrap up to the weekend.
Boutique Wine Tours
If you don’t want to designate a driver for the weekend, then we can take the planning and driving off your hands. Our bespoke tours are tailored just for you; with your itinerary, your friends and the freedom to adapt along the way.
Visit our website www.boutiquewinetours.co.nz to find out more.
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