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A 35 minute ferry ride from Auckland to Waiheke Island, we spent the morning at Destiny Bay, a small, single vineyard, family-owned winery that began in 2005. They specialize in estate grown and bottled blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, producing fewer than 2,500 cases per year of their three distinct blends: Magna Praemia, Mystae and Destinae. We toured through the vineyards which are planted in a natural amphitheather. The beauty is beyond compare as the vines slope down toward the water.  But, I was relieved that I didn't have to help pick grapes that day. Destiny Bay is 100% hand harvested and with the steep slopes of the vineyard, that means that the pickers are walking up and down the hill carrying bins of grapes all day. It really is hard work!
The dinner of dinners at Mountford Estate was for Winston's Birthday.  Winston, Mountford Estate Winemaker CP Lin's seeing eye dog, turned 5. Each year on his birthday, CP organizes a large dinner party filled with great wines and food and this evening was no exception, from the guest chef to the food to the wines!