Rachel and Regan, you were our introduction to
Hal and Trish, our personal guides to
Maitland, we had such a blast with you man! Peka Peka beach is such a special place- you’re lucky to be able to hang out there. We loved
Dan, a perfect
You all have a place to stay in
I first met Hal at the Blogs n Dogs conference in Banff, where he told me that he spends a lot of time in NZ and would be there when we come through. Sure enough, we met Hal today with his lovely partner Trish. They live in the town of North Havelock, just south of Napier, in the heart of North Island wine country.
The theme for today was wine tasting. We went to about 5 different places including:
Matariki, Unison and Trinity Hill were wines that were a part of the region called Gimblett Gravel. In visiting the wineries, it's easy to see why. The vineyards are planted in soil high in gravel content. A river used to flow through the region, which imparted the soil with the gravel. About 120 years ago, the river changed course, leaving the land for great grape growing. The gravel allows water to flow through the soil more quickly, intesifying the taste of the grapes (so they told us). At Unison, a tiny winery, the vinter himself poured our tastings. This is, obviously, Trinity Hill below.
After the wine tasting, Hal and Trish treated us to an awesome dinner and real bed for the night, which is very welcome after sleeping in Squeak, our campervan. We have had an awesome time and, once again, had a great experience with locals. Trish is a lifelong Kiwi and taught us about the educational system, regional reputations and the Hawkes Bay area. Hal, an American who has done business all over the world, told us great stories about the issues with doing business in China and secrets of the Olympics. Hal and Trish completely rock and we owe them a huge thanks.
Tomorrow, we're off to Peka Peka Beach and meeting a guy named Maitland who we'll hang with for a couple of days.
By the way, Sachi was originally going to write this but the wine and dinner got the best of her and she had to retire for the evening. More soon from her...
I’m not doing much “wine country” sight seeing while in
Sonoma a playground for the wine-sipping and appreciating populations of
Last night I had an excellent dinner at the El Dorado kitchen, which is described in what must be the most popular words in Sonoma: "elegant casual." It fits.
I’m heading back to