Last year, I made my first trip across the ‘ditch’ with my mother for a long weekend in Auckland. I don’t know why I didn’t visit New Zealand sooner. I suppose I thought it would always be there—easily accessible at any point in my life.
We tasted many of the sumptuous foods and wines of New Zealand within the dining precincts of Auckland. But my favourite Auckland food and wine experience—by far—was at the Villa Maria Winery on the way to the airport before heading home.
Although the Villa Maria Auckland Winery is only a 5 minute drive from the Auckland Airport, the drive into the winery feels like you’re arriving home to a country estate you never knew you owned.
Villa Maria is a New Zealand institution, with vines planted in many regions of the country. In 1961, George Fistonich leased land from his father when he was only 21 years of age and planted an acre of vines. Over 50 years later Villa Maria is an internationally renowned winery.
There is a restaurant at the cellar door, and after wine tasting, my mother and I enjoyed Villa Maria’s wines with some lunch on the terrace. This was a day of splendid wines, calm scenery, delicious food, and good company.
I didn’t want to leave, but we had a plane to catch. I recommend stopping at the Villa Maria Winery if you can. It’s a great way to get some New Zealand wines you cant buy in Australia to take back home.
Feature photo: View from the terrace of the Villa Maria Auckland Café
Links (correct at time of posting):
Villa Maria Winery: http://www.villamaria.co.nz
Villa Maria Auckland Vineyard Café: http://www.villamaria.co.nz/cafe-and-cellar-doors/vineyard-cafe
Villa Maria Auckland Cellar Door: http://www.villamaria.co.nz/cafe-and-cellar-doors/auckland-cellar-door