Amid the hustle and bustle of the annual TRENZ event in New Zealand, we were given the afternoon off for good behaviour. So what better way to spend a couple of hours than to head to Kumeu Wine Country with Bush and Beach Tours?
Within half an hour of leaving the city centre, I was sipping a (small) glass of Riesling at Soljans Estate Winery, an award-winning vineyard that has been family owned for three generations. The first vines were first planted here in 1932 and today Tony Soljan runs the business. They have an extensive range to taste in the excellent cellar door or tarry a while in the cafe.
After a few tastings, it was time for some fresh air so we boarded the coach and headed to the black sand of Muriwai beach, home to a large gannet colony. The sun was just setting and the vista was truly inspiring as we walked on the fine sand and gazed west over the Tasman Sea towards Australia.
But enough of that emotional nonsense! Back on the coach, we were soon pulling into West Brook Winery for some more of the adult grape juice. Here we met the irrepressible chief winemaker, Anthony Ivicevich, whose love for the product was clearly evident. He held us enthralled for 30 minutes, discussing such hot topics as screw cap versus cork, all the while pouring some delicious wines.
It was with a heavy heart and a somewhat relaxed gait that we boarded the bus back to Auckland, having experience just some of what Kumeu country had to offer.
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