Want to see the fruit bowl of New Zealand, Hawke’s Bay, in an unusual manner? Why not hop into a vintage vehicle for a tour, or take a wine-tasting day-trip, or attend one of several food and wine festival events?
1/ PRINSY’S TOURS
Winery tour, scenery and more!
Spend an afternoon or full day, at up to five of Hawke’s Bay’s finest wineries. On a recent visit, I had a fun, immersive experience in the company of David, our guide and driver, and a few other guests. Oenophiles will appreciate tasting a range of varietals and styles that predominate in the area, while novices will welcome the mix of larger and boutique wineries. As golden hour approached, we stopped at the majestic local icon Te Mata Peak. From the fabulous scenery to the winery tastings, this tour highlights some of Hawke’s Bay’s greatest assets.
2/ HOOTERS VINTAGE CLASSIC VEHICLE
Ride in style
Sporting a 1920s uniform complete with double breasted jacket, chauffeur cap, breeches, gloves, and boots, it is easy to spot my chauffeur among the crowd as I depart my Air New Zealand plane in Napier. Navigating the city in a 1928 Hupmobile E4 Eight “Harry” (short for Harriet), stopping at vineyards and attractions before dropping me at my hotel, this is one sweet ride. The 7 seat antique sedan certainly fits the Art Deco vibe of the city. The rarest of the company’s fleet, the striking vehicle attracts the attention of curious bystanders eager to get a peek inside it.
3/ FAWC FOOD AND WINE NAPIER
Biannual festival in Hawke’s Bay
A giant pot filled with neon flowers and forks in the middle of main street Napier is just the kind of quirky, wink-and-a-nod announcement that typifies the spirit of this bi-annual food and wine festival. Now in its sixth year, chefs, winemakers, and producers host events around Hawke’s Bay that showcase the region’s fruit, vegetables, cheese, wine and meat. Think out-of the box events with a sense of humour like Jazz-era wine dinners, yoga class and brunch, horseracing and barbecue.
On a visit, I attended an event entitled Pranzare with Pask. With a philosophy of “good from scratch” emphasizing quality local ingredients, simply prepared, Michael Van de Elzen, one of New Zealand’s celebrated television chefs created an al fresco Italian-inspired lunch paired with wines from Pask. As live music from Romanza string quartet played on the grounds of The Old Church, we dined on contemporary European dishes like charred broccoli tart, and walnut chilli pesto and slow braised lamb shoulder with whitebean, tomato sausage and eggplant.
This original travel article first appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.