Koa Rāhoroi! (happy Saturday)
Friends, Travelers, Wine Lovers, welcome to Hawkes Bay wine country!
And here we are, enjoying the beauty, harvest, grapes, sea breezes and wines of Hawkes Bay. This beautiful wine region is located on the south-east coast of the North Island. This region is one of the oldest regions with very famous wine producing Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, Merlots, and Sparkling wines.
Our first stop on this day is Craggy Range, one of the most premier wineries in this region, highly regarded and diverse in their selections. They enjoy excellent scores for their wines, but that's not our reason for visiting. Most importantly they have amazing Bordeaux Blends, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, and although we cannot find it in Seattle, Thousand Oaks or Indiana or anywhere in the United States for that matter, the Sparkling wine that they make is EVERYONE's Favorite! We had to stop going back for seconds - but we did walk away with several bottles that we will share on the bus, on the beach and in our collective gatherings throughout the next few days.
The vineyards are calling us, say hello to our Bike Tour! Ken and Terry lead the way! We love the bikes that are available to us. Too bad that only two of them are pink, and many of us enjoy an afternoon of biking through the vines and trying to maintain a straight path (Terry and Reggie) as we "taste" along the route. There is so much to see, experience and taste, it's hard to decide who's wines we enjoy the most. We did get a lot of sunshine, exercise and wine bellies.
Some of us had the afternoon off, some of us are exhausted from our bike tour and our sergeant of a leader (KEN!) who has much longer legs than the rest of us. UGH! I need Colleen's magic hands. Okay, an afternoon off for several, or a hike for some, or those of us who decided to bike it, whatever we did this beautiful afternoon, it was perfect. The long and low sun that gives the orange-yellow glow of light with long shadows remains for seemingly hours this evening and it's already 7pm but this golden light lingers. We watch the wind blow the vines, we see the workers picking ripe grapes as the sun starts to finally set. What a glorious day, what a romantic evening, and oh what achey muscles!
We sleep like angels, dreaming of this beautiful light and our amazing time in the vineyards.
Tena po pai dear travelers... see you tomorrow.