Wine, food and a bit of country air? An offer I couldn’t refuse. This city girl would be there with boots on, hat in hand, stomach empty. Despite growing up in Wellington, I had never been to the wild Wairarapa, the wine country at the bottom of the North Island. It was the weekend of the local gem, Harvest Festival: a day celebrating the region’s best wine, eateries and country hospitality. Of course I was going (thanks for extending the invite, Connor, Maryam and Barbs!)

Like all good adventures, this one started off with a two-and-a-half hour flight delay out of Auckland, having to (very quickly) chug back a pitcher of cider, and a windy, rainy car ride in the dark. The threat of rain dampened the anticipation of the festival, but in the morning, we woke up to silence broken by the occasional birdsong. No rain, but sunshine and scattered clouds. Perfect conditions.

A mellow bus ride was a pleasant journey through rolling paddocks, past gorgeous estates, lush vines and we arrived at a clearing with a humming crowd. A few strides in and we opened up to a day already in full swing: the region’s famous lamb chop pies, decadent doughnuts, generous and dangerously large pours keeping the crowd happy. The joyous scene was backed with dance-inducing tunes from one lively cover band to another.

The festival continued onto the bus back into town, paused at the local joint for a pint and settled at Barb’s: our award-winning host with the most. A pitcher of punch and platters of moreish treats later, we ended the day with full hearts, pounding heads and fond (but slightly faded) memories. And just enough footage for a vlog.

Push play for a few too many wines but one heck of a good time.



Featuring my fabulous friends: Maryam, Connor, Helen and Barbs
Location: Carterton, Wairarapa, New Zealand
Music: Take It Easy, Joakim Karud

Lennie LawComment