Rodney Times : January 6th 2011
6 RODNEY TIMES, JANUARY 6, 2011 NEWS 719 Whangaparaoa Road, Whangaparaoa Ph 09 424 4100 Fax 09 424 7500 www.the-plaza.co.nz Collect an entry form when you spend $10 or more at any of our Foodcourt outlets, between Monday 17th January and Sunday 6th February, and have it rubber stamped by the Foodcourt operator.* Every time you spend $10, collect another stamp on your form. When you have collected three Foodcourt stamps, fill in the details and drop it into the Entry Box in the Foodcourt. One winner each week will win a Nintendo DSi. On Monday 7th February, we will draw one lucky winner to win an Xbox 360 250GB w/Kinect Sensor and game. Participating stores include Amazing Wok,BB's Cafe,Esquires Coffee House,Mediterranean Taste, Muffin Break, Sen Sushi, Shamiana, Supreme Roast, The Waffle Station and Wendy's Supa Sundaes. *Terms and Conditions apply. your way to winning an Xbox 360 this school holidays at The Plaza, Whangaparaoa Wide range of grape varieties brings By SUE COURTNEY Matakana has become a mecca for wine tourists because of the quality and range of wine destinations. There are now more than than 30 vineyards in the region and diverse grape varieties are grown. Matakana has become a mecca for wine tourists, largely because of its proximity to the country s biggest city and the quality and range of wine destinations. It was 25 years ago when Matakana became associated with commer- cial fine wine production, particularly for Bor- deaux-style reds. The promise of the quality was asserted when Heron s Flight, the first to open a cellar door in the region, won a gold medal for its debut 1991 vintage cabernet sau- vignon, a performance repeated with vintage 1994. There are now more than 30 vineyards in the region. The variety of wines extends beyond the cab- ernet sauvignon, caber- net franc and merlot of the Bordeaux-styled reds to malbec, syrah, pinot noir, sanguineous, dolcetto, montepulciano and carmenere red varie- tals, and chardonnay, pinot gris, viognier and flora white varietals. Italian arneis and Austrian gruner velt- liner are also grown. There are 12 stops on the summer wine trail, seven offering dining options as well. Wineries not normally open to the public may welcome visitors by appointment. In addition, each Sunday during January, 3pm to 7pm, the Matakana Winegrowers Sunday Wine Market is at the Matakana Village Farmers Market venue. The market-style event combines local winegrowers, including many not normally open to the public, with selec- ted local food producers. This is a great oppor- tunity to taste Matakana wines in a relaxed and festival-like atmosphere. Entry is free, but a sou- venir glass for tasting wine costs $5. Wineries on the trail are listed with a number to coincide with the map. They are closed New Year s Day and some of the statutory holidays as well--itmaypayto check before you go. 1. Ransom Wines: Valerie Close, Wark- worth, website www. ransomwines.co.nz, phone 425-8862. Open daily 10am to 5pm during January, and from Tuesday to Sunday for the rest of the year. Ransom Wines, operated by Robin and Marion Ransom, is the 2010 Manaakitanga Awards Outstanding Winery Experience win- ner. Wine tasting is free when purchasing wine or dining at the wine bar, otherwise they ask for a donation for their favour- ite charity TOSSI (Tawharanui Open Sanc- tuary). For something a little unusual, try the carmen- ere. This lost grape of Bordeaux is finding a new home here. 2. Ascension Wine Estate: 480 Matakana Rd, Matakana, www. ascensionwine.co.nz, phone 422-9601. The cellar door opens daily 10am to 5pm for wine tastings. The tasting charge of $6, for six wines, is refundable on any wine purchase. The bistro opens daily 11am to 4pm. Ascension has won four Manaakitanga Awards, including Out- standing Restaurant Experience and Out- standing Entertainment Experience as hosts of the MoreFM Winery Tour. Owner Darryl Sol- jan received the award for Outstanding Contri- bution to Hospitality, while Excellence in Cus- tomer Service was awarded to Guido Paseri. Popular summer wines are the The Rogue flora and The Rosarian rose ´. Also try their breathtak- ing viognier The Vestal Virgin, not only great wine but a great talking point too. 3. Hawks Nest: 646 Matakana Rd, Mata- kana, phone 027-217- 2588. Lynette and Jeremy Noakes operate their converted sheep shed cel- lar door on Saturdays throughout the summer 11am to 5pm. A tasting fee of $2 per person, for the entire range of wines, is refundable on purchase of wine. The rose ´ is most popular for summer drinking while the Orchard Block red, made from cabernet franc and malbec, is the winter choice. All of the wine is from estate- grown grapes, and seasonal produce from the orchard is also avail- able for sale. 4. The Vintry: Mata- kana Valley Rd, Matakana, website www. thevintry.co.nz, phone 423-0251. Sited at the back of the cinema complex, over- looking the Matakana Village Farmers Market venue, The Vintry offers tastings and flights of Matakana wines 10am to 5pm daily. It s also a retail outlet, selling almost every Matakana wine at cellar door prices, including the producers without cellar doors. These include newcomers Matavino, Greve and Mount Tamahunga as well as Coxhead Creek, Gillman Vineyard, Matakana Estate, Merryfields, Michael Ramon, Saltings Estate, Takatu Estate, Ti Point, Te Kei Vine- yard and The Anti- podean. Food is available too. 5. Hyperion Wines: 188 Tongue Farm Rd, Matakana, website www.hyperion-wines.co. nz, ph 422-9375. Open 10am to 5pm daily throughout Janu- ary and February and most of March, and weekends thereafter, this genuine boutique producer has some of the oldest grapevines in the region. Owner and winemaker John Crone shares his passion for making wine in the converted cow shed winery. Pinot gris and chardonnay are popular and the Eos pinot noir and the Titan cabernet sauvignon are both special. Midas malbec is highly recom- mended. A charge applies to groups of eight or more ($5 per person) with group bookings -- preferably made in advance. Hyperion also offers vineyard accom- modation. 6. Providence Vine- yard: Takatu Rd, Matakana, phone vine- yard 422-9300, office 444-6064. Open public holiday weekends only -- as advertised closer to the time -- hours are noon to 5pm on open days -- look for the open sign at the gate. A tasting fee is refundable on purchase of wine and groups must book in advance. James Vuletic estab- lished Providence Vine- yard with the aim to make the best Bordeaux- styled wine outside of France. The beautifully manicured two-hectare vineyard above the Takatu Rd and Omaha Flats Rd intersection is one of the most photo- graphed vineyards in the region. Wines produced are a merlot cabernet franc predominant blend, syrah and a rose ´ in select years. 7. Contour Estate: 139 Takatu Rd, Matakana, website www. contourestate.co.nz, phone 423-0002. The cel- lar door of this specialist syrah producer is open until Easter 11am to 5pm. The tasting fee is $5 per person and with the tasting room set up in the winery, owners and winemakers Linsey- Anne and Bruce Taylor can walk and talk visitors through the winemaking process. The current release is from estate-grown grapes.
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