Poppies Martinborough: Love at first sight

A dynamic young couple are determined to keep the romance of wine alive in the wine village of Martinborough, Wairarapa. By Katie Farman

Shayne and Poppy Hammond practise what they preach. They have a love of good wine. Good food and beautiful things. They have an affinity for the land and the rugged Wairarapa coastline so it was only logical they chose to settle in the wine village of Martinborough, only an hour’s drive or train ride from Wellington, and establish their own wine label Poppies Martinborough. Poppies is sold exclusively from their beautiful cellar door on Puruatanga Road and is a great place to bike too from Martinborough’s quaint village square which is laid out in a Union Jack pattern.

“Everyone loves the emotion and romanticism of wine and we think that proposition is even more powerful when the wine is served at home,” says Shayne. “Poppies is the home for our wine - we do not sell it anywhere else – so when people come here we want them to feel welcomed and be able to share a unique wine experience where good food is also on offer.” Shayne and Poppy –previously the viticulturist and wine maker respectively for established local label Dry River – produce Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, Gewürztraminer, Late Harvest Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir varieties of wine.

Visitors to Poppies Martinborough feel like they’re being welcomed by a long-lost friend and are encouraged to do a wine tasting before siting down, either inside or outside, to enjoy a vineyard platter. Now, these aren’t any old platters. In fact Poppies platters have become the stuff of local legend. They’re full of delicious local cured meats, home-made chutneys and dips, seasonal produce and freshly baked bread. Some people get so distracted by the food, they forget to look up and enjoy their surroundings – vineyards, rolling hills and big skies.
Poppies Martinborough is a popular spot so it pays to book ahead for lunch (www.poppiesmartinborough.co.nz). It’s easy to get to from the centre of town and forms a ‘must-do’ stop-off if you are choosing the cycle between Martinborough’s other vineyards.

For more things to do while you're visiting the Wairarapa head to www.wairarapanz.com. When you're here be sure to call into one of our I-SITEs for advice and trip suggestions.

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