Gratia - Vineyards and Breweries
A perspective from a writer with no knowledge of beer
So, here’s a joke: get someone with no knowledge of beer whatsoever, plus very low alcohol tolerance, and ask them to write about a craft beer lounge. I don’t know yet if there’s a punch line, but here’s what I took from our trip to Brothers Beer – plus a few helpful tips from their website.
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New Zealand-made, New Zealand-grown Beer with heart
Five months ago, Jules and Oli went from passionate home brewers to professional beer makers and the owners of Ground Up Brewing. Since then, they have created thirty different beers, and are now supplying to some of the best restaurants in Wanaka.
Hopscotch Beer Company is a tiny, colourful and busy space, everything about it an ode to the love of beer and garage brews. It’s a place for finding the perfect bottle to go with a sultry evening, as well as the place to learn about the flavours, history and chemistry of brewing from the passionate team who work there.
Even if you aren't a wine person
Let it be known that I am a wine person. I love the complexity, the flavour and even the twinge of theatre. But not all people are wine people. Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be a barrier to enjoying wine, especially in the case of vineyards like Man O’ War on Waiheke. They haven’t merely created an elegant wining and dining experience, but also a welcoming and approachable atmosphere. Though the lengthy gravel road that leads up to Man O’ War mightn’t bring the word ‘approachable’ immediately to mind, you’ll see what I mean once you get there.
World class in a glass; New Zealand style
Stonyridge Vineyard on Waiheke is birthplace to some of the best wines in the world, with one of their Bordeaux style blends even beating the Frenchies in blind tastings. Despite the fame and glory, they haven’t let it go to their heads. Their rustic and humble home, where you can eat, taste wine, and experience the day-to-day of wine making, looks just as comfortable here on Waiheke as it would in Alsace. While this is an ode to wine of the highest standard, a trip to Stonyridge vineyard is also a somewhat spiritual experience, the land dotted with Buddha and featuring a yoga deck, as if they are aware that their product is of the gods.
A Kiwi Story of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
You’ve probably heard of Villa Maria before. As a New Zealander, it’s pretty hard not to recognize the brand name and you’ll probably have sampled their world renowned sauvignon blanc at some stage. What you may not be aware of is the amazing story behind Villa Maria. It’s a journey of a kiwi entrepreneur with a passion for wine and with the drive to create an iconic New Zealand success story and leave a legacy that every New Zealander can be proud of.