Adventures in Auckland, Tauranga, Gisborne, and Wellington, New Zealand, Part 4

2023 HAL World Cruise

Thursday to Sunday, February 2 to 5, 2023

Just to recap,

So, starting with Auckland and then Tauranga, we have written about the sightseeing, shopping, and dining we’ve experienced as we sail our way across New Zealand.  By Gisborne, the shopping had dwindled.  By Wellington, (which is a fantastic city and more thoroughly described in our 2019 visit) the sightseeing had morphed to vineyards and tasting rooms; the shopping centered exclusively on bottles of wine; and our libations were created and served by the most cordial proprietors of these vineyards.  To say this was a fun day is an understatement.  We were on a Viator Tour operated by Zozo Tours.  Our driver, Simon, was most professional and we confidently and contentedly left the driving to him!!!  Our job was to sip, savor, and select!!!

We did it well!!!

We sailed into Wellington early on an overcast Sunday morning.
Exiting the ship quickly, we met up with our Viator/Zozo Tour driver, Simon, and headed for the Rimutaka Range (which is now known as Remutaka because, are you ready for this, the ancient Moari word was originally misspelled and not corrected ’til 2017!!)
The Rimutaka Crossing is a stop along the way. Famous for the WWI troop marches by thousands of infantrymen prior to their departure to the Western Front as part of the NZ Division.
You’ll notice this Rimutaka Crossing Signage was installed in 2015. So OK, the error wasn’t noted until 2017. Change takes time.
This is beautiful, but rugged, territory!!! We thought it looked a lot like the US state, Colorado!!!
Well, until you get to the vineyards in Martinborough, about an hour after leaving Wellington.
Upon reaching Martinborough, Poppies Vineyards was our first stop.
Poppies was ready for our arrival and the tasting started promptly.
Poppies offers more than a dozen different wines.
We tasted 6 of them.
Connor was our server and here he is showing us the unique glass stopper Poppies’ uses on its bottles. Makes for a pretty table presentation!!!
The Rose was crisp and on the dry side.
The Sauvignon Semillon is a rich fruity blend with a lemony aroma. We bought a bottle to take home and share with friends.
The Pinot Gris rivaled many of our favorite Italian wines. We bought some of this, too!!!
the 2021 Pinot Noir was nice….
…..but we liked the 2022 Pint Noir better and bought that one to bring home.
The late Harvest Riesling was pleasantly fruity with sweet notes and with enough body to be versatile. We bought this one also!!!
Moving on…..
…..our next stop was Moy Hall where we also had a lovely lunch.
We tasted 4 wines here: a Rose, a Riesling, a Sauvignon Blanc, and a Pino Noir.
Our lunch consisted of an appetizer to whet the appetite…..
…..and a cheesy, buttery gnocchi as the main course.
We chose to drink the crisp, citrusy-hinted Riesling with our lunch. But we bought the Sauvignon Blanc to take home!!!
This Sauvignon Blanc has a fruity aroma, and crisp acidity.
The Rose was extremely popular at one end of the table!!!!
Here is the line-up of Moy Hall wines…..
…..and here is the price list!!!
Grava Winery, Martinborough was our last tasting.
We tasted 4 wines at Grava…..
…..a Sauvignon Blanc, which we bought…..
…..a Rose…..
…..and 2 pinot Noirs, a 2020 & a 2019. The lovely model with the wine bottles is Claire, the proprietor. The sporty looking fellow is Simon, our Tour Driver.
At this point, we boxed up our purchases.
And returned to the ship waiting for us in the fog!!!

We are now on our way to Australia.  We will enjoy a few days at sea before arriving at the first port-of-call, Sydney.

Sightseeing, shopping, and dining will be back in the forefront!!!

See you soon with the next post!!!

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