Tag: waiheke

Classic Style with Kumeu River

Spring is almost here but let’s embrace some earthy tones and classic winter essentials before the tulips are up and it’s already time to dig into the Gris & Sav.

1 | Botanical Wine Wall Chart by Erstwhile

Well, I’m still not sure what pineapples, agaves and vines have in common – ze Germanz are a funny bunch. It’s part of a series called “foreign culture plants on colourful wall maps” – yeah, still doesn’t make sense but I still love the look of it.

2 | A Life at Mudbrick by Robyn Jones 

A perfect coffee table book filled with beautiful photographs and delicious recipes. A trip to one of Waiheke’s most picturesque vineyards in the comfort of your arm chair.

3 | Classic St Mawes Lady Watch by Daniel Wellington

Well, it says, classic style. Timeless one my add – smiley.

4 | Cow Hide Rug by Mildred & Co

Argentinean steak is world renowned, now it’s time for hides. This one is a bit more trendy but certainly ticks the classic look box.

5 | Estate Chardonnay 2012 by Kumeu River

Classic Burgundian style Chardonnay from one of New Zealand’s iconic family estates. A must-try for every Chardy lover!


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Meet John Dunleavy from Te Motu

Meet John Dunleavy, co-founder, chief viticulturist and winemaker at Te Motu, which overlooks the beautiful Onetangi Valley on Waiheke (my spiritual home). Te Motu is renowned for its stunning, award winning reds.

Vineyard Manager & Winemaker, and general fixer of broken things.

Run the vineyard team and oversee the winemaking.

Number of years in the wine industry
25 years at TeMotu vineyard.

As a young man I used to transport the wine selected for the Air NZ wine competition to ‘The Chateau at Ruapehu’; on my own with a truck full of wine – tempting!!

My father, Terry was the Chief Executive of the NZ Wine Institute in those days.

First Job
Paper boy in Wellington; delivering from the start of the Terrace up to Salamanca Road. By the time I finished I would be lining up for the bus with the aftermath of the 6 o’clock swill – not a pretty sight for a young boy.

If you were a wine, what wine would you be?
I would have to go for a Pinot Noir from Burgundy, Cote de Nuits, Romanee- Conti.

What would you do if you weren’t a winemaker?
A designer and builder of furniture.

Why did you decide to work in the wine industry?
To help develop the family business – fate had a hand in it. While awaiting surgery to reconnect three fingers on my left hand, my father and brother made the decision to proceed with the establishment of the vineyard on Waiheke, and I was to oversee it.

te motu 1

Wine & dine, what’s your favourite match?
It’s a toss-up between Rack of Lamb with Cabernet based Bordeaux and ‘Maka Crabs’; succulent crayfish off the coast of Makorori, Gisborne with a gutsy Gizzy Chardonnay.

Share a fact about you that only a few know
I was born in Samoa and arrived in NZ aboard a TEAL flying boat.

Hidden gems and favourite spots in your region
Sitting off Owhiti Bay in a boat fishing with my mates.

Things you still want to do
Finish painting the house, and more travelling – the South Island, Spain, Portugal, Italy for a start.

Last book read
Ken Follett – the Century Trilogy. If these were texts when I was at school I would have enjoyed History. Studying the ‘Origins of the First World War’ etc… was so boring then.
Hmmm then again, the sex scenes would have been a distraction for adolescent boys.

Advice on buying wine
Don’t be afraid to try something new, and every once in a while splash out, blow the budget, memories last a long time.

Dead or alive, who would you like to share a glass of vino with
Billy Connolly, what a laugh that would be.

Find our more about Te Motu: Website | Facebook | Twitter


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Meet Alex Perez, Winemaker at Tantalus on Waiheke Island

Full name:
Alex Perez

Winemaker at Tantalus on Waiheke Island (Auckland).

Job description:
Wizard, responsible for overseeing and helping the fruit et al. to evolve into a mystical experience for all of us simple mortals.

Number of years in the wine industry: 
Since 2001 in the industry, pretty happy with my new millennium resolution. Since 2011 in the Onetangi Valley.

First job:
Lab rat. Over the years washing bottles I mastered my shooting technique. Very useful for staff water fights when the senior lab technicians were not around.

If you were a wine, what wine would you be?
Wild fermented Bonarda with a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon for self determination and enough Malbec for my beautiful partner to find me flexible and a little charming.

What would you do if you wouldn’t be a winemaker?
Cheese maker, musician, architect or writer.

Why did you decide to work in the wine industry?
I didn’t want to be part of a huge unbalanced food industry so, after resigning from my QC job in the fish industry, I took a bus to Mendoza – pursuing the mystique of wine as a product but also attracted by the history, different cultures, terroirs, millions of passionate hands and that mysterious energy that makes winegrowing one the best things that happen to humanity. My nose definitely appreciates the change, I’ll tell you that!

Wine & dine, what’s your favourite match?
Aged left bank Bordeaux with an Argentinean beef asado a las brasas from the pampas.

Share a fact about your winery that only a few know:
There are several mysterious varieties and clones along the rows, meticulously planned to increase complexity in the blends. As a result, it is usual to encounter the connoisseurs exploring the wines, tantalising the discovery of each component, its expressiveness and individual characters at the time of tasting.

Hidden gems and favourite spots in your region?
On Waiheke: Cactus Bay, Melon Bay and little Palm Beach. Close enough: Great Barrier Island is an spiritual experience with mother nature.

Things you still want to do:
Get Tantalus recognised in the international scheme, keep learning and growing as a person as well as a professional, become a MW, keep traveling, asking, searching, tasting, experiencing, discovering. This game of life is very well done and endless. It helps to be surrounded by great people, food and wine of course.

Last book read?
Mmmm. I have usually 3 or 4 going at one time. Last ones were Thus spoke Zaratustra by Nietzche, Authentic wine by Goode/Harrop, What the Buddha taught by Rahula and Ficciones by Borges.

Advice on buying wine:
Go to tastings, be open, ask lots of questions and don’t be afraid if your choice it is not popular. Buy and drink what you like. We make wine to be enjoyed. Cheers to that!

Dead or alive, who would you like to share a glass of vino with?
Ufff, Endless list I guess. Let’s share a barrel with them. Plato, Schopenauer, Einstein, Da Vinci, Gaudi, Jesus, Sidharta, a few influent world leaders and, of course, Don Pascal Ribereau Gayon. I would love to give a taste of an intense floral variety to Gandhi, understanding if he does not drink it, because of the alcohol, but surely he could stick his nose in the glass, close his eyes and slowly enjoy the magic.

Find out more about Tantalus and their wines here:

Thanks for your time Alex!


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Sip: Man O’ War Dreadnought 2012

I am a big fan of Man O’ War wines. Not only are all of the wines and varieties interesting characters, a lot like their namesakes, the winery and vineyard location is beyond stunning and the packaging is beautiful.

On top of that, Waiheke is starting to make a name for itself as a top New Zealand wine growing region and for me the Syrah’s are at the top of the list for wines to try. So here is an exemplary wine to start you off!

Man O War 2

Man O’ War Dreadnought 2012 (Flagship Range)

Named after the motto “fear and dreadnought” which embodies the supreme combination of speed and power. This is from their steepest hillside Syrah vineyards (100% Syrah).

Waiheke Island (North Island, just off the coast of Auckland).

The names are amazing: Madmans, Asylum, Lunatics, Garden Cove, North 3.

Oh la la this swarthy figure is built with power. A ship that can handle its own in the big sea, it is finely built with elegant lines. The hold is filled with provisions of blueberry, chocolate covered licorice and black pepper to finish it off. This is a wine booty pirates would be proud of.

Beef bourguignon is calling your name.

Visit Man O’War’s website to find out more about their Flagship Range wines.


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