Breathtaking views, delicious cuisine and award-winning wine sum up Cable Bay Vineyards on Waiheke Island. Situated a quick 40-minute ferry ride across Auckland Harbour is the picturesque island of Waiheke.
The island is known for its widespread vineyards, popular B&Bs and stunning bays and beaches. Over a dozen wineries populate the island, along with just over 8,000 people.
Cable Bay Vineyards are located on the west side of the island in Oneroa and is open seven days a week from 11am - 9pm. On arrival at Cable Bay, there is a large wooden door that greets you and the owners are not far to be seen. During peak times such as November - February, it is important to book, however, if you are making the trip over, there is no harm in booking regardless of the season.
The venue has two distinct restaurants; one named The Dining Room and one named The Verandah. As the name suggests the prior is more formal with the later being more relaxed.
My partner and our friends headed there from our B&B at The Courtyard which is a short walk. We managed to make a reservation a day prior and aimed to be at the venue for 11am to be seated and commence perusing the menu.
The Verandah was a welcomed sight and the ambience was wonderful being one of the first guests at Cable Bay on a summery Sunday. The restaurant is nestled among Cable Bay's olive trees and vineyards and remains visually appealing with large windows that frame the impressive views across the Hauraki Gulf to Auckland city.
View from the restaurants @ Cable Bay Vineyards (photo by Praneel Lal)
The tables are marble which adds to the feeling of elegance; while complimenting the large framed and draped windows. A modern space with a refreshing open plan style flow add the relaxing ambience you feel when looking over the lawn.
The menu at The Verandah offers a European/Meditteranean offering with tapas plates, mezze boards, wood-fired pizzas all from a large active outdoor kitchen. The items on the menu are tempting, and after having a look we opted for a few of the pizzas, shoestring chips, latte's and Mezze board (best to line the stomach if tastings are to happen after).
Mezze Platter For Two @ Cable Bay Vineyards (photo by Praneel Lal)
Being a vineyard the collection of wines, craft beers, ciders and cocktails commenced quite quickly. A hens party, located on the upper platform of the restaurant seemed to be thoroughly enjoying their cocktails.
The staff were friendly and upon arrival, we were able to score the best seat in the house up against the lawn, with full views of the ocean. The food (once ordered) came out relatively quickly (perhaps a bonus of being one of the first tables of the day). The pizzas were piping hot and the mixed aromas from the board were enough to make anyone hungry.
My partner and shared two pizzas; a Napoli with fresh tomatoes, basil, buffalo mozzarella, and Parmesan; along with a Prosciutto with a white base, mushrooms and blue cheese. Packed full of flavour we were not disappointed. There are gluten and dairy free options available, which allowed our friends to enjoy the Mezze Platter.
Napoli Pizza, Prosciutto Pizza and Fries @ Cable Bay Vineyards (photo by Praneel Lal)
The next stop on our day of exploration was the seductive Cellar Door. Here guests are able to taste a selection of four wines ($10 per person) and purchase any goods such as olive oils and of course vinos. The Cable Bay Wines ranged from a light Sauvignon Blanc to a Syrah. Definitely a fantastic way to introduce the award-winning Cable Bay Wines to your palate. There is also an option to spend $20 and do a wine and tour which I would highly recommend, however as we were on a tight schedule we had to depart, but we did so with our bellies full and with a very fond appreciation for Cable Bay and their impressive wines.
Wine Tasting Options @ Cable Bay Vineyards (photo by Praneel Lal)