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50 WINE EXPERIENCES
for 2022:
31-40

Craggy Range, Hawkes Bay, NZ.

31. Wendouree Cellar
at the Victory

If you want to drink perfectly cellared Wendouree
wine, it may seem strange that you would head south of Adelaide when the winery is two hours to the north in the Clare Valley. But publican Doug Govan’s life work has been to amass the single most comprehensive collection of these sought-after wines and he houses them in a dedicated underground cellar at his Victory Hotel in McLaren Vale ( victoryhotel.com.au). There’s no better way to immerse yourself in the soul of these wines than to dine in the hotel’s Wendouree Cellar, surrounded by Govan’s collection spanning three decades. NICK STOCK

TIP: The Wendouree Shiraz Mataro is the unsung hero of this cellar.

32. GO FOR BROKE

Next time you’re in the subregion of Broke Fordwich in the Hunter Valley, be sure to explore the estate of Winmark Wines ( winmarkwines.com.au). The stunning property is the former home of wine label Pooles Rock, and is now owned by Karin Adcock who has transformed the site to feature the Winmark Wines Cellar Door, Art Gallery, Sculpture Walk and various accommodation. The cellar door is an inviting, relaxing space where you can taste through the exquisite Winmark chardonnays sourced from the estate vineyards surrounding you. Next door is the art gallery, which features captivating pieces from local, renowned artists. Be sure to also explore the property via the Sculpture Walk and settle into one of Winmark’s accommodation offerings suitable for both groups, families and couples seeking a romantic getaway. AMY NORTHCOTT

TIP: Pop up the road to Margan Wines & Restaurant to indulge in their Garden to Plate menu, which champions produce grown on their estate garden and orchard.

33. Noble Rot Wine
Bar Event Series

Noble Rot ( noblerot.co.nz) in Wellington is a
national treasure. Josh, Maciej and Jessica have not only provided a space and environment for producers across New Zealand to show their wares, their diverse list of imported wines and education programs have ensured that the capital city has an
entry door to the global vinous landscape in their
backyard. While I’m more than happy to park myself
at the bar and chew the fat, booking into any of
their numerous events is a must. A recent highlight was pouring Craggy Range back-vintages for a lunch for patrons among the breadth of iconic NZ producers during their Martinborough Wine Weekend. JULIAN GROUNDS

TIP:  Be sure to order the chicken liver parfait. It’s been on the menu since they opened; try and find a better one in NZ!

34. LOCAL FOCUS

Nouvelle festival ( winesentience.com) is New Zealand’s (wait for it) newest natural wine festival, inspired by the annual Nouveau release parties in Beaujolais and celebrating the beauty of vintage, importance of community, and simplicity and fun of vin de soif-style wines. The brief given to winemakers at the start of harvest is simple: fruit must be organic; the wine must be ready to be released by the first Saturday of August; and must either contain a significant portion of skin contact, or be made as a pét-nat. “The wines require no adjustments because they will be drunk only within a small proximity – and therefore the experience is unable to be replicated,” says co-founder Caitlin Perlman. Sounds like my kind of party. DOM SWEENEY

TIP: Keep an eye out for 2022 dates across Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.  

35. HASTINGS

Known locally as the ‘Albert Quarter’ or ‘East Block 200’, Hasting’s Heretaunga St East is Hawke’s Bay’s new must-go-to precinct. Kate Galloway and David Ramonteu’s award winning Hastings Distillers ( hastingsdistillers.com) provides an opportunity to sample its gins and liqueurs (Albertine Gin is a favourite) or book a bespoke session with the distillers to deepen your gin knowledge. The Common Room Bar ( commonroombar.co.nz) is funky and laid back or there is Fun Buns ( funbuns.co.nz) if you fancy something more exotic. JANE SKILTON MW

TIP: For a special night, Sazio ( sazio.co.nz) has excellent pasta and a small, carefully chosen list.

36. Dine & Stay at Craggy Range

Nothing is left to chance at Hawke’s Bay’s Craggy Range Winery ( craggyrange.com), and their luxury Lodge is boutique comfort personified. Book in for a night and you’ll wish you stayed a month. Walk the organic kitchen gardens, where seeds and vegetables are cultivated, before an aperitif in the courtyard watching the sun set over the escarpment. Follow with dinner at Craggy Range restaurant where produce is seasonally focused and thoughtfully presented. SHANTEH WALE

TIP: Request a tour of the Quarry (the underground barrel room and superb private dining space) to stretch your legs before dessert.

37. Celebrate
Limestone Coast

Ottelia Restaurant + Tasting Room is the brand-new chapter for Coonawarra’s renowned casual yet excellent eatery formerly known as Drink Ottelia + Eat Fodder ( ottelia.com.au). It’s a family business through and through, with John Innes and daughter Matilda behind the fabulous Ottelia wines, and Matilda’s partner Paul Stone taking care of the inspired Chef’s Menu and kitchen garden. This latest addition to Coonawarra’s rich local tapestry is a true celebration of the Limestone Coast. DOM SWEENEY

TIP:  If you’re not up to the full Chef’s Menu, try a glass of riesling or flinty chardonnay – and a few bites (think charred asparagus tartlet with smoked ricotta, or pumpkin crackers with onion pickle).

38. 125 Years of Church Road

How wild to think that 2022 marks 125 years of viticulture and winemaking for Hawke’s Bay stalwart Church Road ( church-road.com). Celebrate at the cellar door with the newly launched TOM Experience – named for pioneering winemaker Tom McDonald – where you’ll discover the secrets and stories behind the flagship range of wines (also called TOM) deep within an underground museum during an insightful tasting of Church Road’s top chardonnay, cabernet and syrah. DOM SWEENEY

TIP: The TOM Experience runs from 11am-1pm daily, perfectly timed to follow with lunch at the on-site restaurant, Verde.

39. Bow Down to Bendigo

Since reopening their cellar door last year, Sutton Grange Winery ( suttongrange.com.au) has been offering a seated tasting experience with their knowledgeable and passionate staff. They take you through their wines, including the Fairbank and Estate releases, which beautifully highlight the unique selection of grape varieties from the Rhône Valley and Campania, and explain how these vines are perfectly suited to the rolling foothills of Leanganook (Mount Alexander) in southern Bendigo. They’ve also recently offered lunch options from renowned Melbourne eateries Anchovy and Longrain, so keep an eye out for similar experiences over the upcoming season. BEN MULLEN

TIP: No wine shows a better sense of place than the Estate Syrah, so be sure to grab a bottle.

40. MOY HALL

If you’re sipping your way around Martinborough, be sure to put Moy Hall on your list ( moyhall.nz). Sitting pretty on the town’s vineyard row, it’s a local favourite with warm vibes and stellar wines to match. Standouts include the vineyard’s signature rich and juicy pinot noirs, zesty rieslings and characterful viogniers, each made with heart and soul by Wairarapa-born winemaker, Phill McArthur. The relaxed restaurant packs a punch, with sophisticated seasonal plates and sweet delights for happy grazing. In summer, Moy Hall’s back lawn is the place to be. Park yourself in the shade with a bottle of something to share, while taking in the views. SARA BUNNY

TIP: Book ahead if you’re looking for lunch, as Moy Hall restaurant always draws a crowd.


Photography by ELS MORGAN, Justin Aveling and James Phillips, and courtesy of Nouvelle Festival, Craggy Range, Church Road, Ottelia, sutton grange and moy hall.