Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | November 24, 2008

Elephant Hill

Every now and then a job comes along that makes you forget about all the dull ones.

Elephant Hill is a new winery estate in Te Awanga, Hawke’s Bay. German owners but making wine from its own vineyard and other NZ vineyards. As part of an ad feature for the Dominion Post, (publishing Wednes 26) an invitation was issued to have lunch with the marketing person, the managing director and the winemaker.

Best lunch ever. Not only was the food great, but the rose and the viognier (still can’t pronounce it properly though – vee oh nay?) taste slightly differently when the glass across the table is held by the man who made it.

The syrah has since been on my tasting list (winemaker’s fave) and is divine (just won an award at the Sydney International Wine Awards too).

It was a very elegant setting, even posh, but not pretentious (which would throw me out of my comfort zone completely). With the risk of sounding like a travel brochure, actually, totally sounding like a travel brochure, Elephant Hill has an idyllic setting amidst its own vines with the Pacific Ocean framed by the iconic Cape Kidnappers in the distance….. I hasten to add that it certainly makes a difference when it’s all free. My ethics would have been called completely into question had it been awful. But it wasn’t. So they weren’t.

Thomas and I went to the official opening yesterday and had a ball. As well as its own restaurant on the go, there was a range of locally produced items like Rush Munroes icecream, Silky Oak chocolates and the wood-fired pizza man (too many wines to remember the name). We were thrilled to see him because he was catering a 40th we were at the night before (again, my favourite adjective today appears to be “divine”).

We caught up with a few old friends (boast – including a radio DJ, mayor, an MP and our son’s teacher) and met some new faces (being introduced to Kim Willoughby and hubby Ian Morris (The Dudes) was cool).

And the 40th the night before was awesome too – one of our antenatal/coffee group dads. Great playlist of 80s songs, great venue (I wish I had the interior decorating skills and classy event management gusto of my friend Jo) and lots of great people.

To those who say 40 is the new 30, bring it on. Oh, to be 21 again with all the life experience of a 36 year old. But that’s far too deep for a Monday afternoon when I should be trying to finish some profiles for another client nowhere near as exciting as a winery before my children get off the school bus (come up for air after that sentence).

Well, never mind what happens in the meantime, I want a big party for my 40th and I’m going to drink the bottle of 2007 Elephant Hill Reserve Syrah I have just “cellared” in the back of my wardrobe.



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