An Afternoon at Stonyridge, Waiheke Island, NZ

A short ferry ride from Auckland is the island of Waiheke, an island of 30 growers and 535 planted acres. The second winery on the island, beginning in 1981-82, is Stonyridge. With 6 hectares of vineyard planted to the five grapes of Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec) and organically farmed, Stonyridge is known as a world-renowned Cabernet-blend winegrower, thanks in part to the signature Stonyridge Larose.

We stopped at Stonyridege for lunch at the Veranda Café which overlooks the vineyards.  With a Pacific meets Mediterranean menu, we enjoyed a few bites along with the Stonyridge wines.


Stonyridge Tasting Plate (Hot Smoked Salmon Smoked over Larose Barrel Shavings, Orange Marinated Prawns, Stonyridge Cabernet and Duck Liver Pate, Prosciutto Crudo, Paprika Onion Jam, our House Made Condiments, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Iron Gate Brie, Marinated Olives and Ciabatta Bread) and Seared Yellow Fin Tuna with Avocado, Coriander, Miso Mayonnaise and Fresh Lime

Wines Tasted:

  • Larose (Bordeaux blend)
  • Luna Nergra 2009 (Malbec)
  • Pilgrim 2010 (Grenache, Syrah, Malbec)
  • Airfield 2009 (Bordeaux blend, second label of Larose)
  • Faithful 2010 (Merlot, Cabernet Franc)
  • Chardonnay 2009

As we enjoyed our lunch, we were joined by Assistant winemaker Ethan MacDonald, Owner Stephen White and Winemaker Martin Pickering who shared samples of the currently fermenting juice from the 2012 harvest.  Looks like it will be a good vintage!


Following lunch, Stephen took us on a walking tour through the vineyards.

Stephen also invited us to enjoy our glasses of wine as we sat in the vineyards, between the rows of grapes.  The peacefulness and serenity under the vines as the sun set is a reminder that wine comes from nature and that we should take the time to pause and enjoy it.

Of course, a visit to a winery during harvest wouldn’t be complete without a little work so we got to help punch down the fermenting grapes.


Not a bad way to spend the day!

Be sure to stop in for lunch when you find yourself in Waiheke!