By the time we got up, Suzie was at church with Otty and Amy, and Roddy and Michelle were finishing breakfast. Zoe (14) and Florence (12) found it hilarious that we were travelling in a “Britz” van, and all the children thought it must be a terrific adventure to live in a campervan for a month.
Andrew was planning to spend the day weighing bulls, so we were despatched on a Hawkes Bay ‘wine trail’ (notice we didn’t offer to help with the bulls …!).
The suggested first stop was Selini winery. They have built a tremendous visitor centre around a restaurant and wine cave. They also have a reputation for being helpful to tourists like us when it comes to suggesting a route, and providing a map. The wines we tasted were (as we recall) excellent, but we neglected to take a pen and notepad to write any notes (… so you will just have to take our word for it). We had a quick mouthful of cheese before entering the next winery, Trinity. But even so, by the time we had ‘tasted’ a dozen or so wines, we were both feeling decidedly hungry. Suzie had recommended that we go into Napier at least once during our stay, to see the celebrated Art Deco architecture.
(Napier was nearly entirely levelled by an earthquake in the 1920s, so the whole city was re-built in the Art Deco style of the period. Whatever you may think of Art Deco, Napier has preserved most of the original facades.) Being Sunday, however, most of the businesses were closed. Even the seafront seemed deserted. We called in at the Blues Café, whose menu we had admired from outside, but after several minutes of being studiously ignored by the staff, we left and drove on down the coast.
Just when we had almost given up hope of finding anything to eat at all, we arrived at the Clearview Winery, who just happen to have one of the best courtyard cafes in the region. We took our time over lunch, then made our way back, cross country, to the Trinity Winery, where we bought a couple of bottles of Pinot Noir for our hosts (and a couple of bottles of Sauvignon Blanc for ourselves …).
We arrived back at the Wilson ranch to find that Roddy had had a successful day’s fishing, and was busily preparing a whale-sized trout for dinner.