We stopped in at four vineyards on our round trip from Coles Bay via Bicheno, St Marys, Campbell Town.
Having not tasted wines from this region before I tried a variety of different wines (other than the Rose I had tasted the day before) and was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed them all. It is predominantly a cool-climate region, not too dissimilar to the Marlborough region in terms of flavours. I tried the Riesling to start and enjoyed the zesty citrus characteristics, the Pinot Gris had a lovely pear flavour and the Ice Riesling was light, packed with raison flavour and very drinkable.
If we didn’t have the logistics challenges of getting wine back to New Zealand I would have purchased more from here than the Riesling and Ice Riesling I ended up buying. This was my pick of the vineyards we visited in this region.
Spring Vale Wines
Whilst the wines here were appeared to be quite good, the tasting size was so small it was really hard to be able to assess the wines. I left empty handed.
Craigie Knowe Vineyard
This was an enjoyable experience. Finding the vineyard wasn’t the easiest with the signposts hard to see, then there was the driveway to navigate that was more equipped for a 4WD than our 2WD rental car.
The door on the shed had a sign on it saying “Honk for attention” but we didn’t need to do so as the elderly vintner saw us from the house, jumped in his Ute and headed down to meet us, with a half-full bottle of wine in hand.
After being asked what we were there for he then opened the shed and we were then surrounded by chemicals, barrels and packaging. He then proceeded to get one of the dirty wine glasses down from hanging above the sink and filled it with his Bordeaux blend. This tasted a little dusty, although maybe that was from the glass, as he proceeded to tell us about the region and Buttons his dog, which shortly after came to see us too. I then had his only other wine, a Pinot Noir, and this was reasonable enough for me to buy a bottle, although I was probably buying it more for the entertainment value than anything.
We decided to stop here because they had a sign out saying they sold Cherries.
Whilst there it would have been rude not to taste their wines too, so I tried a few.
They had a good selection of wines and I particularly enjoyed their Pinot Noir although decided not to buy any and stick with the cherries.