The Hawkes Bay is an amazing place. I have never been anywhere that is so full of picture perfect trees, where people are friendly and welcoming and the produce is only premium, organic goodness. And to top it all off – there are Vineyards everywhere!!
I went out this afternoon and was planning on heading to the A & P show (Agriculture and Pastoral Show), but decided against it. Today is a public holiday, stuck onto the beginning of an already long weekend due to Labour Day, which is on the Monday. So everyone takes the Friday off and heads along to the A&P show. I was going to do the same but it was $16 to get in. Not a lot, I know, but I am on a pretty tight budget while I am down here so all these big decisions need to be weighed up – what else could I possibly get for $16? I also knew that by going in there, I would have to spend more on buying food, going on rides etc, which seeing as I was by myself probably wasn’t going to be all that fun anyway. I decided I would rather drive around, most likely get lost and hopefully end up near a café/vineyard where I would be much happier paying $16 to get myself a nice lunch & coffee and maybe a glass of wine if I was lucky.
So I went back to my car and started on my journey.
I decided to head out Ocean Beach way, which I have heard is beautiful. I heard right. The drive out there I was wishing someone else was driving as the scenery is just incredible. Big hills with ginormous rocks jutting out, lots of lazy bulls sunbathing, and more hills with trees of all colours shapes and sizes just creating the most picturesque landscapes. This is the kind of place I would love to drive through on my honeymoon; stopping in at vineyards, getting tipsy, then walking off the giddiness through sunny vines and finishing the day with spectacular fresh seasonal meals. One day.
After Ocean Beach I saw a sign that pointed me in the direction of Haumoana and decided to explore out there. Haumoana is a beautiful little village that has some fabulous wineries. While driving along what I gathered was their main road, I decided to take my $16 and spoil myself with a little bite to eat at one of the vineyards called Elephant Hill. The main road has houses or vineyards on one side, and an amazing stony beach with a view that looks out across the sea to nowhere. Heaven. Well, it’s probably the way to South America actually, but you get my drift.
Elephant Hill was quite pricey for a poor unemployed student, but the menu looked amazing! I decided to just have an Entrée, which at $18 I was hoping was going to fill me up. Luckily it was the perfect size, and because you get complimentary breads with oil and butter, I just ordered a coffee to finish and was pleasantly satisfied.
After my meal I went up to pay and was offered to do some wine tasting, and after discovering it was free because I had eaten, I (very) happily accepted. Having not been able to afford a glass of wine with my meal (the cheapest was about $12 a glass), I was a bit disappointed having come to a winery not being able to taste any wine. Dionysus was looking out for me!
I tasted their 2010 Sauvignon Blanc and not being a Sav drinker, was pleasantly surprised! Out of all the wines I tried (their 2010 Chardonnay was also a beautiful not too oaky drop), my favourite was their Le Phant Blac which is a blend of Viognier, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer – devine! At only $22 I was pretty impressed with the price as well.
If your ever down that way check Haumoana out – and if you live here, I hope you realise how lucky you are!
Peace & Love xx