When planning our Christmas do this year we decided that good company, delicious wine and a beautiful setting were the order of the day and where better to do that than on Auckland’s own wine paradise Waiheke Island? It was settled, Team Alba were off to Waiheke. Joining us for our outing were two of our favourite company partners, Dan Wein of Dan Wein Photography and Angie Bradley of Box 90.
Our destination was Stonyridge Vineyard, one of New Zealand’s most lauded wineries. After a quick ferry ride from downtown Auckland we were on our way. As we arrived there were not one, not two but three helicopters perched on the lawn demonstrating the easy heli access for those looking to fly in. Set in a still, beautiful valley complete with its own olive grove the vineyard instantly transports you away from the hustle and bustle of the city and from the first cool mouthful of delicious NV Fallen Angel sparkling Brut we were relaxed.
From our prime dining spot on the covered deck that overlooks the olive groves we kicked off with a beautiful share platter followed by equally enjoyable main courses that included fresh line-caught snapper, beef Carpaccio and melon and Prusciutto ham . The kitchen at Stonyridge is run by Head Chef Connie Aldao Worker and she and her team did themselves proud. Being Christmas it would have been rude not to have dessert to round off a wonderful meal. The Fallen Angel was the main tipple of the day but during our meal we also enjoyed some of the vineyard’s delectable red wine which was smooth and very deserving of its reputation.
Food done, our lovely waitress Georgia set us up some picnic blankets in the groves for us to enjoy another bottle of wine before we wove our merry way back to the ferry to head home to Auckland. Absolute bliss.
Stonyridge was the obvious choice for us thanks to its famed wines and stunning setting, but also appealed to us as it is the brainchild of former superyacht skipper Stephen White. Steve founded the vineyard after spending many years in Tuscany and with an ambition to grow the great Bordeaux grapes in New Zealand – in that he has certainly succeeded. Steve was at the vineyard when we arrived and we enjoyed his company greatly, make sure you seek him out and say hello if you visit. The whole staff are incredibly professional and welcoming and made the whole experience that much more enjoyable – a big thank you from us at Alba HQ.
Stonyridge and Waiheke come highly recommended by us for both superyacht owners and crew alike. Just a ferry and a quick taxi ride away from central Auckland it is a must visit. www.stonyridge.com