A 120-year-old stables, framed with rosebushes and a white picket fence, provides the charming setting of Bridge Estate, home of Poverty Bay Wine. For decades, the site was used as a horse paddock for the former Bridge Hotel; nowadays artefacts from that era are incorporated into the cellar door, from an old cow bail to a chicken coop that partially forms the bar and even old horse buggy wheel rings that have been fashioned into the legs of an 18-seat banquet table in the dining room.
Things To Know
The Bridge Estate vineyard is one of the region’s oldest, first planted by Denis Irwin in the mid-80s. Self-described “Bordeauxphile” Klaus Sorensen bought the vineyard eight years ago and has resurrected it with classic Bordeaux varieties including cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, malbec and semillon. A wine tasting consists of five varieties complemented by a selection of tasting plates – all prepared by Klaus – such as potted shrimp with salmon, dill cream and pink toast, or duck liver pate with cured meats and pickles. Once a month Klaus hosts a long lunch around the banquet table, during which guests can try the wines from the two labels, Bridge Estate and Poverty Bay. The latter label is named after the local area, which James Cook dubbed Poverty Bay in 1769. The name is a misnomer – although Cook’s initial impression was of a barren landscape, this is in fact a very fertile region.
The rosé is a favourite from the Poverty Bay label, ideal on a sunny Gisborne day. The handsomely aged Bridge Estate Cabernet Merlot is another highlight.
If you fancy continuing on into the night, a gate on the property leads straight into the neighbouring Colosseum Banquet & Bistro.