Started by visiting the Wine Centre in Hawkes Bay. Amazing place, well worth any wine drinker’s time. The Aroma Awareness room alone is a gem of a place. You get to scent each of the 54 scents in wine, including a half dozen of the bad smells.
After that off cruising the neighbourhood wineries. Elephant Hill is a gorgeous setting and very nice restaurant, but I wasn’t overly enamoured with their wines.
Craggy Range is another hugely impressive wineries and they will wine a zillion awards around the world. A bit over the top for my taste, although I quite liked The Quarry a Cab Sauv/Merlot/Cab Franc blend.
Checked out Sileni, a smaller, less ambitious winery, and was struck by The Pacemaker, 100 percent Cab Franc. The spirit of experimentation is still striding the land in HB.
These Hawkes Bay Bordelais blends are an extraordinary value. Beautifully structured, great fruit, but with some restraint. Altogether elegant. Drink any you come across.