In the life of a Waiheke Wine Tours Ltd Tour Guide:

By Maree Maclean Wonder Women.

The Faulty Tower Tour

By Maree MacLean

A last-minute tour booked by 2 Australian couples had all the elements of a good Faulty Tower’s episode with a cameo by James Bond at the end.

The two couples were escaping from a Corporate Conference.

They bounced off the ferry all smiles and full of glee at a successful escape.

This group was from Australia.

I welcomed them and let them know because we have more vineyards than public access beaches on this island and today Sharon has organized that you get to taste at the best of them!”

“Jesus, how did she do that we didn’t give her much time? To be honest, Maree, we didn’t even know if we’d get out to the conference in New Zealand because of the bush fires.”

I let them know that we in NZ were very supportive of the bush fires in Aussie, “We prayed for rain for you guys at a lookout here on Waiheke maybe that helped? It’s on the way to our first vineyard, Peacock Sky, I’ll point it out.”

“It did help but you prayed too hard though, we’ve had flooding when we just needed a sprinkle to put the fires out! Anyway, can we stop there and take photos too?”

“Sure, and I can orientate you for the rest of your tour when we are up there. You can see EVERYTHING from up there.”

We got some photos and the Aussies lamented our clean air and next thing you know, we were at Peacock Sky, a boutique vineyard that does a degustation menu paired with its tasting. The stand out wine for this group was a fantastic pure merlot and after the tasting, a case was ordered and several chocolate brownies purchased to eat along the way.

Next step was Casita Miro, Rhiannon’s favourite for its fantastic Gaudi-Esque mosaic work, Seaview's east, great Focaccia and beautiful food styling. The olives cured in orange juice were also popular and their stand out wine there was the Bordeaux blend, Aphrodisiac.

The Mudbrick wowed the ladies with its quintessential French charm while the guys salivated over the Pinot Gris from Waiheke.

The final stop on the tour was the James Bond of vineyards, Cable Bay, it seriously looks like a very modern art gallery and is only missing security guards wearing Versace.

The highlight here was the wine library and the barrel room down a secret passageway. Here, each French oak barrel has a serial number that allows us to trace it’s provenance back to which Forrest and which tree lot it came from before it was milled and made into a barrel.

Favourite wine? The Viognier and the group couldn’t believe the view here either. I managed to get a Fabios type look alike porn star, who made up the male half of one of the two couples, to take his long hair out and flick it around like Rachel Hunter. This provided a great photo op with him and his wife while the other couple, quaffed the last of their tasting wine, doubled over with laughter.

I bid a fond farewell to an awesome group when invited for a drink and thanked my lucky stars when I drove away to return our Mercedes tour van back to ground zero and fill in my logbook.

With customers like that, it’s hard to call this a job.

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