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Prinsy's Wine Tours, Hawke's Bay
A trip to Hawke's Bay wouldn't be complete without a visit to some of the region's 50+ wineries. Yep there's more wineries than you can shake a stick at (if you'd want to shake a stick at a winery, that is!)
I checked out a tour with Prinsy's Rural Experience and Wine Tours, which was recommended by Bob Stansbury at the Napier YHA where I stayed during my visit to the Art Deco city.
Our guide Hamish was great and very relaxed as he showed us around the many vineyards dotted around the Hawke's Bay region. He took us to a variety of different wineries and we were able to enjoy some tastings at the cellar door, which was a great experience as we could chat about the wines and do the swilling round the glass and smelling the bouquet and all of that wine connoisseur type stuff. Brilliant!
The best things about Prinsy's tours is that you can spend as long as you want checking out the wineries - whether you're short on time and can just spare half a day, or you're eager to get fully stuck in and spend a whole day touring around, the choice is yours.
We checked out the region's best known wine growing areas - the Ngatarawa Triangle and the Gimblett Gravels. Hamish also took us through Hawke's Bay's beautiful countryside to the breathtaking 360 degree views of the region and the Pacific Ocean from the top of Te Mata Peak (399m), which is a definite must-see.
And once you've done this tour, you'll be able to impress your friends with your newly-found knowledge about wine, and you'll also know what to look for when you're next stocking up at the supermarket!
Prinsy's runs a variety of tours - with half day and full day Wine Tours available.
The half day tour runs from 1pm until 5pm. It costs $55 or $65 with a cheese board.
The full day tour is $75 and runs from 10.30am until 4pm. It also includes lunch at a winery (at your own cost). Pick-ups from your backpackers are included.
There is also a full day Rural Experience tour available. On this tour, you'll get the chance to drive through orchards and vineyards, visit a sheep farm with sheep shearing (seasonal) and a sheep dog demonstration. You'll also travel to a renowned Red Deer farm and velvet factory, then finish with a relaxing glass of wine at some of Hawke's Bay's best wineries. This tour costs $150 which includes lunch and all activities. A half day option is available.
Prinsy's also offers a Trout Fishing tour, with half day and full day trips available in some of Hawke's Bay's rivers. Trips are fully guided, with gear and licences included.
For more details about all the Prinsy's tours contact Hamish and Diane on 06 845 3703 or Freephone 0800 004 237.
Rachel Pinder stayed at Napier YHA, which can be found on the beachfront on Marine Parade, close to all Napier's seaside attractions, including the National Aquarium, Marineland, Ocean Spa, mini golf and museum. The hostel has spacious twin/double/shared and single rooms and a sunny cobbled courtyard (with a BBQ) for chilling out. There are a range of excellent facilities, including a fully equipped kitchen, a spacious TV/video lounge, laundry, storage and internet facilities. For more details, or to make a booking, contact manager Bob Stansbury on 06 835 7039 or visit www.yha.co.nz
Company: rinsy's Wine Tours
Phone: 0800 004 237
55 Coote Road , on Bluff Hill, Napier, which is first left after the Centennial Gardens.