Restaurant review: Highfield TerraVin Vineyard Restaurant
Highfield Kevin Judd Great Wines high res

The view, the hospitality and the food – TerraVin Vineyard Restaurant is one not to be missed, writes Toni Gillan.

Immediately over the bridge, turn left and then left again up the hill and there it is. The Highfield Tuscan-inspired winery and tower stands tall on Brookby Ridge with its famous commanding 360-degree views across the Wairau Valley.

Established back in the day around 1989, with various progressive owners, Highfield winery joined forces with TerraVin in July 2015. The company is now collaboratively called Highfield TerraVin with winemakers Alistair Soper (Highfield) and Gordon Ritchie (TerraVin) along with marketing/managing director, Pete Coldwell each holding a stake in the company. Each winemaker continues to makes their own label wines with both brands sold at Highfield’s cellar door tasting room, which in tandem seamlessly gels with TerraVin vineyard restaurant.

DAVID JAMES/FAIRFAX NZ

Wonderful food, wonderful wine and wonderful views.

When discussing TerraVin restaurant people talk about Stephanie Armstrong, the owner, as much they do about the delicious food cooked by chef David Haase. The two have joined forces and are working to perfect all the essential elements you would expect from a fine vineyard dining experience.

Inside or out, every time I go to Highfield TerraVin Stephanie is working the floor. Passionate and personable, she meets and greets, takes orders flitting constantly between tables. A people person, nothing fazes her, with her ready humour she and her team strive to deliver absolute service and a memorable experience.

Stephanie grew up in Paris and trained there as a hairdresser. She “fell into hospitality” by chance, embracing it to progress her career in Paris (Chez Garette no less) and then London.

DAVID JAMES/FAIRFAX NZ

Stephanie Armstrong is a welcoming host.

After moving to New Zealand with her Kiwi husband and then while juggling family life with the birth of her daughters, Stephanie kept her hand in the game, and when the opportunity to run her own restaurant came up in spring 2015 she seized it wholeheartedly.

“I love Mediterranean food. Marlborough has a special climate to grow great produce. Inside we have a fire when it’s cooler but really when the leaves fall, you can still sit outside on the terrace and admire the ever-changing seasonal views. Those days are often warm and still,” she says with her infectious enthusiasm.

I’d heard about her chef’s respect for ingredients. Born in Germany, David Haase trained and was soon working in Michelin-starred restaurants. But he felt the country was getting crowded so after holidaying in New Zealand in 2007 with his partner he answered an ad to work a season at Hans Herzog. The couple loved Marlborough and moved back here permanently, both working in hospitality.

Read full article… http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/food-wine/90302028/restaurant-review-highfield-terravin-vineyard-restaurant

 

Misha’s Vineyard Unveils New Central Otago Tasting Room
Mishas Tasting Room 1

Misha’s Vineyard has opened a Tasting Room in Cromwell – the heart of the Central Otago wine region. The ideal location overlooking Lake Dunstan on the main approach to Cromwell, is already proving a busy destination for wine lovers.

Vineyard owners Andy and Misha Wilkinson have a spectacular 57-hectare estate on the edge of Lake Dunstan at Bendigo, just ten minutes from Cromwell, but felt a more centrally located tasting room would be easier for guests to access. With 20 export markets established and 10 vintages completed, Misha and Andy they decided it was the right time to open a Tasting Room to showcase their wines. “We receive calls every day from people visiting from overseas who are familiar with our brand and want to visit” said Andy. “We are also seeing increased tourism, with Central Otago growing its reputation as a world-class wine and food destination. Cromwell was also recently named the fastest-growing small town in the country, so it’s really exciting to be part of that growth.”

With the wine tourist in mind, the design concept for Misha’s Vineyard Tasting Room was to create a simple yet elegant space that would enable guests to have a relaxed personal tasting experience. A French country inspired theme was chosen as the perfect backdrop for the pale blue and gold of the Misha’s Vineyard brand with the interiors and furniture being custom-built. The Wilkinsons also wanted to bring the atmosphere of the vineyard into the tasting room so three walls have large-scale photographic murals showcasing the work of renowned local photographer Tim Hawkins, who has been photographing Misha’s Vineyard since the ground-breaking ceremony in 2004. Local artist Kerry Lanauze has also created a couple of special art pieces that have become talking points for guests. The facility includes a private tasting room for members of the newly launched Misha’s Vineyard Vine Club.

With a range of single-vineyard Pinot Noir and aromatic white wines including Pinot Gris, Riesling, Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, as well as a late harvest dessert wine, Misha’s Vineyard offers guests a wide range of wines to sample. Misha’s Vineyard Tasting Room is open every day from 10am to 4pm, and also offers platters and small plates for those wanting to relax and enjoy a glass of wine and the views.

Misha’s Vineyard Tasting Room. www.mishasvineyard.com

Location:        180 State Highway 8B, Cromwell 9310 (Freeway Orchard complex)

Hours:            10am – 4pm daily

Food:              Platters and small plates available

 

Marlborough Rising – Wellingtons other ‘local’ Wine Region
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Reflecting on the brilliant and bountiful Wellington on a Plate festival held recently, I had the opportunity of frequenting the pop-up Match Wine Bar, a collaboration of 20 wineries from Martinborough, Gladstone and Masterton offering 40 wines by the glass and a pairing menu of 20 small plates created by legendary Chef, Ruth Pretty. Read More >

Two Paddocks Pop-Up Cellar Door January 2016 – Felton Road Bannockburn Middle Earth
Airstream (2)

The Wandering Palate caught up with the Prop in Queenstown and enjoyed a sneak preview of the first Two Paddocks ‘Proprietors Reserve’ individual vineyard Fusilier Pinot Noir 2014, from the newly acquired Felton Road, Bannockburn vineyard… and as the festive season fog in the brain dissipates, the Fusilier 2014 is ingrained in my olfactories and I can still smell the lingering dark Indian spices and peppercorns on a hot wok…and that wonderful layered depth of black berry fruits and Christmas Cherry…and that alluring smokiness a melange of fire-hot schist rocks and gun flint (the smoking hot barrel of the Fusilier’s rifle no doubt)…and Oh that lush and dangerously plush texture, the wine seemingly beckoning to be drunk at a sprint even though we know it’s a long distance runner. And whilst we had a suspicion this Bannockburn pinot fruit would bring the house down, it seems to me the Fusilier is already taking a commanding position on the parade ground, a stiff arm salute and cold steel bayonet-fixed acidity to a sword drawn Major no less that will be a Brigadier given the passage of time.

You too can have a sneak preview of The Fusilier 2014 if you forward march to Central Otago and the Two Paddock’s Pop-Up cellar door on Felton Road, Bannockburn… an utterly brilliant idea and the distinguished service medal goes to Jacqui Murphy, the dynamo GM at Two Paddocks who will be front and centre at the TPCD. See message and full orders from the Prop below.

Salute!

Gunner Marsh

Read More >

Seven go mad in Burgundy…
Jean-François Coche explains...

Nigel Greening, proprietor of Felton Road vineyard in Central Otago, New Zealand, vinous oracle, indefatigable gourmand and a true Wandering Palate gives a most fascinating account of ‘wandering’ in Burgundy. Read More >

Fontodi in Panzano
Mike K - Fontodi terrecota

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Another brilliant lunch at Carrick Winery, Bannockburn, Central Otago
Carrick Lamb
I had lunch at Carrick Winery yesterday (Oct 15th) and can report that they are going from strength to strength with new head chef Gwen Harvie (previously Head Chef at Eicharts for many years) and she has clearly raised the bar with the food and menu. I also sense Carrick’s proprietor Steve Green has the place running in top form and the wines and vineyards all on song. Read More >
Butchery, Beef and Street Theatre
Butcher - Antica Macelleria Cecchini

Our Wandering Palate correspondent in Shanghai, Michael Knuppel, is ‘wandering’ in Tuscany and encounters the famous Dario Cecchini, a butcher as mad as a meat axe! Butcher – Antica Macelleria Cecchini, PANZANO, CHIANTI, ITALY Read More >

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and On the ‘Middle Earth’ Wine Route
Air New Zealand Smaug the dragon livery

The second instalment of New Zealand director Sir Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit Trilogy is set to hit the big screens in December 2013. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug follows the journey of Bilbo Baggins and company as they continue their quest to reclaim Erebor. The diverse landscapes of New Zealand will once again be on show when The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is released. Read More >

Marlborough Pinot Noir Rising
Marlborough Pinot Noir Safari Team

Reflecting on my New Zealand visit earlier in February this year, primarily to attend the Pinot Noir New Zealand Celebration 2013 (www.pinotnz.co.nz) held in sunny Wellington, one of the highlight’s of my trip was visiting the Marlborough region. Read More >