12.5 C
Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Waiheke, wine island

Latest News

Fast Buck$ ejected from Byron Council meeting

During this morning's Byron Shire Council meeting a dispute between the Mayor Simon Richardson and local activist and agitator Fast Buck$ over the pronunciation of Cr Sarah Ndiaye's name led to the meeting being suspended.

Other News

Music photos

Jack Paten, Shellharbour Over the years I have collected various photos from the past of Australian Country Music history and am...

Local youth among those hardest hit by housing affordability crisis

A 20 per cent spike in rents is driving an increase in youth homelessness across the North Coast, the organisers of a national campaign to end homelessness say.

No accountability for proven police misconduct

On Australia Day in 1998, I was the legal observer for the ‘Nude Ain’t Rude’ rally at Belongil Beach.

Government bullying and hidden agendas

Frank Ball, Tweed Heads The treatment of Christine Holgate while CEO of Australia Post is nothing short of scandalous. Not only...

Hanging points

Jo Faith, Newtown Many thanks to The Echo for printing ex-magistrate David Heilpern’s remarkable article articulating the ongoing tragic situation surrounding...

Shenhua gone and Breeza breathes again

In a much-hoped-for move, the NSW Government and the China Shenhua Energy Company Limited have reached a $100 million agreement in which Shenhua will withdraw its mining lease application and surrender its development consent for the Shenhua Watermark Coal project at Breeza on the Liverpool Plains.

Cable-Bay-The-lawn
Relaxing on beanbags at Cable Bay vineyard, looking across the strait to Auckland

If you feel that our area around Byron Bay is paradise, you can get fussy about your seaside holidays. Waiheke Island, a 30-minute ferry ride from Auckland, has a natural beauty similar to the nearby Coromandel, plenty of beachhouses and a huge number of wineries, many of which don’t just serve excellent wine but also offer genuinely top-quality food.

Visting in February, we found a cheap beach house (amongst the very upmarket real estate) with its own path to Palm Beach, a sort of calm Wategos sprinkled with nudists. There’s no surf here, so swimming laps across the protected bay each morning was a delight, as was walking along the sand to yoga at the community hall.

Many of New Zealand’s best wines come from this island, including the Stonyridge cabernet blend Larose (at $250 a bottle, about the most expensive in the land).  With a climate similar to the Northern Rhone’s, great soil structure and protective topography (it’s drier and warmer than Auckland) it’s great for reds (but not pinot noir) and we tried some excellent pinot gris (no sauvignon blanc grown here). Obsidian is another top-class winery.

In Cable Bay Winery’s top restaurant at sunset with a view across the straits to Auckland, wonderful Cable Bay Waiheke Island 2014 chardonnay ($45) in hand, looking at diners lazing in their beanbags on the lawn under the art installations, it seemed this was surely the best it could get.

You don't have to travel to Waiheke Island for the Te Motu range of New Zealand wines, they are now available in Australia. Their flagship Te Motu is excellent.
You don’t have to travel to Waiheke Island for the Te Motu range of New Zealand wines, they are now available in Australia. Their flagship Te Motu is excellent.

By lunchtime the next day we were in Te Motu vineyard. This is a genuine, less-manufactured version of The Farm at Byron Bay – in an actual ‘rural shed’ but serving seriously good simple modern food from their own garden in a low-key, relaxed setting. The carafe wine of the day we visited was the incredibly good 2005 flagship Te Motu cabernet sauvignon-dominant blend with merlot and cabernet franc, hand harvested from low-yielding vines.

The island has a wonderful clifftop sculpture walk, as well as art galleries and what seems to be a commitment to a pure natural environment. I came away with the impression that New Zealanders often achieve what we aim for in combining wine, food and travel.

We weren’t able to bring back enough Te Motu wine (the best of which is around $125 a bottle), but from last month it is now available in Australia at NZ cellar-door prices by emailing [email protected] The next general release, due out in October 2015, is the 2008 vintage of this excellent Bordeaux-style wine.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Shenhua gone and Breeza breathes again

In a much-hoped-for move, the NSW Government and the China Shenhua Energy Company Limited have reached a $100 million agreement in which Shenhua will withdraw its mining lease application and surrender its development consent for the Shenhua Watermark Coal project at Breeza on the Liverpool Plains.

Pandemic plate lickers release lockdown dessert

The 2020 pandemic lockdown meant the entire entertainment industry was cancelled, but making music cannot be cancelled.

5MW solar farm funding under question

A 5MW solar farm proposed for Myocum, located near the Byron Resource Recovery Centre, poses a ‘high degree of risk’, and could jeopardise funding for other large Council infrastructure projects, according to a staff report, to be tabled at this Thursday’s meeting.

Tony Barry, Ben Chifley and FD’s Four Freedoms

Local actor-vist, Tony Barry, has taken on a lot since he moved to the Northern Rivers, and though cancer took one of his legs, Tony still manages to put in the hard yards for social, environmental and human rights causes.