Pursuits of Happiness

“Beyond the wild, raw landscapes, another New Zealand beckons: one of sophisticated restaurants, silvery olive groves, and the most lush, grape-heavy vineyards this side of Bordeaux” writes Condé Nast writer Chang-rae Lee, who spent two weeks travelling both islands touring wineries, playing golf and “eating [his] way across the landscape.” Beginning on Waiheke Island, Lee then heads south to the Hawkes Bay and “classic maritime vineyard land” where he sips Craggy Range pinot after a round at Cape Kidnappers. Across the Strait, Lee finds his favourite wine of the entire trip in Central Otago, an ’03 pinot noir from the Pisa Range Estate, whose earthy bouquet was so redolent and exquisitely layered with hints of river rock and dark cherry that I wanted to buy the new block of proposed vineyard land which the affable owners, Warwick and Jenny Hawker, had up for sale, and share a piece of the terroir myself.”

Tags: Conde Nast Traveler  Hawkes Bay