Wine Tours: Frequently asked questions
Hawke’s Bay is New Zealand’s oldest and most loved wine region, and there is a lot to see and taste at over 30 cellar doors dotted around Hawke’s Bay.
Do I need to eat Breakfast?
You will be trying MANY wines, possibly even before lunch time depending on the tour selected, therefore it’s always a good idea to have something in your belly!
Avoid High Heels
This one’s for the ladies (and maybe a few fellas- We don’t judge!)
Should I Avoid Strong Perfumes
80% of what you taste actually comes from what you smell, so strong Perfumes and Colognes can interfere with how you taste the Wine!
Do not chew Gum
Strong flavours like Mint can really have an effect on your pallet and how the wine will taste!
Consider the weather
If you are a little bit cold before the tour, chances are once you are on the tour it is not likely to get any warmer! In summer remember your sunhat and sunscreen because some of the tour could be outside.
Relax and Enjoy
Kick back and enjoy being chauffeur driven to fabulous destinations. Snacks and Water will be at the ready, so there is really no need to bring a thing!
Do I need to pre-plan
We have planned your route in advance, so the Cellar Door staff know you are coming, and can look after you in their usual 5 Star way.
Timing is everything
Don’t rush it, we have allowed at least half an hour per winery. Patience is a virtue: Be courteous to others at the Tasting Bay. When the cellar door is busy you may have to wait, but we can guarantee it’ll be worth it. When your group is due to go to the next winery please be on the van and not the one we are waiting for.
Do I need to pay
All the tasting fees are included in your tour cost. If your tour includes food such as a cheese platter or lunch then they are also included in the cost If you make any purchases this cost will be additional and is to be paid to each winery.
What to taste
Cellar Door staff are trained in guided tastings so you can relax and leave it to them. They will pour and explain the wines as they go but don’t be shy to ask as many questions as you like! Many of the wines you will taste are only available at the cellar door or as a limited release, so don’t miss the opportunity to try something new.
White before Red
Wines are generally tasted with white wines first, red wines to follow and dessert wines last. There is usually a tasting order which is designed to show the wines at their best – be guided by your host and resist the temptation to jump around the list. If you don’t want to try a wine that’s fine (although we dare you to be brave even if you think you don’t typically like that varietal) Be prepared that you may have to wait before you are able to try the wine you are interested in as other members of your group go through the Tasting order.
Spit or swallow
There is no right answer to this age-old question, it is purely personal choice. However, if you want the day to last, it’s probably a good idea not to swallow everything you taste! Cellar Doors all have “spittoons” or will indicate where you may spit or empty your glass.
How much is too much
The key to keeping on the right side of the Cellar Door staff is to remember it’s a Tasting session and not a Boozing session. Wineries are licensed premises and as part of their legal Host Responsibility obligation, they can and will refuse service or admittance to people who are intoxicated. Don’t be “that guy”!
Do I need to be a Wine Expert to enjoy a Tasting
Definitely not! All you need is the gumption to try. Wine tasting is subjective and there are no right or wrong answers, so just give it a go. Be considerate of other visitors and members in your group, and let everyone ask their questions. If you don’t like a wine that’s ok, it’s all personal to your taste but think about how you share that opinion and
be courteous to your hosts, no one wants to be told they have an ugly baby!
Make friends for life
If you like the wineries you visit, sign up to be a valued friend so they can stay in touch and offer you preferential access to exclusive deals and specials.
Think local, drink local
When you’re dining out and about in Hawke’s Bay, we’d love you to select Hawke’s Bay’s wonderful wines from the Wine List. Supporting local helps us keep making world class wines. And that’s good for everyone.