For our final night in Hawke’s Bay, Louise and I stayed in a luxury retreat at Black Barn Vineyards in Havelock North. Black Barn Vineyards’ wines are made from hand-picked grapes grown on this picturesque estate, with many of the wines only available at the cellar door, bistro, luxury retreats or via Black Barn’s website.
Before checking in, we met Vicky from Hawke’s Bay Tourism for a spot of lunch at the Black Barn Vineyards Bistro.
The restaurant is right in the heart of the vineyard. It’s a lovely setting for a leisurely lunch, with big windows that let in the sunshine, providing diners with gorgeous views of the vines and surrounding Hawke’s Bay. The menu is led by what’s in season, using freshly grown Hawke’s Bay produce, and dishes are matched with Black Barn Vineyards wines. We enjoyed a fantastic lunch.
Black Barn Vineyards has 14 self-contained luxury retreats, each perfect for a private getaway. Our retreat was the one called The Black Barn, located at Black Barn Vineyards itself, surrounded by grape vines and almond, olive and citrus trees. We each had a king-sized bedroom with ensuite and private terrace. There’s another retreat at Black Barn Vineyards called Rush Cottage, but others are located in surrounding Hawke’s Bay, including at Waimarama beach; Tuki Tuki River Valley; and Te Awanga, right next to Cape Kidnappers’ golf course.
After our busy day visiting local producers and then cycling on the winery trail, I relished the thought of a little time to myself, kicking off my shoes and relaxing on the bed.
The rustic furnishings, comfy sofas and open fireplace give The Black Barn the feel of a cosy den, but it’s spacious, with high ceilings. The modern kitchen’s fully equipped with a large double oven, microwave and dishwasher, and there’s a washer and dryer, LCD TV with DVD player, iPod charging dock and complimentary wireless internet.
There’s a selection of Black Barn Vineyards’ wines at significantly lower prices than what you’d usually pay in a hotel room. There were Heineken beers and Antipodes water in the fridge – you pay for what you consume.
There’s a croquet set, a gas barbecue outside, and a tennis court shared with Rush Cottage. There’s information on local activities, restaurants and the Hawke’s Bay wine trail too, to give you ideas for things to do, eat and drink outside of Black Barn.
Guests are free to explore the property, wander around the vineyard and among the fruit trees. The Black Barn Growers’ Market is held on grounds every Saturday during summer (usually running from December to March).
Waking up to this is simply joyous. It’s the feeling of having escaped the daily drudge and being somewhere extraordinary.
Nearby, surrounded by 50-year old muscatel grape vines is the Black Barn Amphitheatre, a unique outdoor concert venue with grassy steps for seats, set in the gently sloping hill. The cabling for lighting and sound are all buried underground, so as not to spoil the ‘natural’ ambience. The Black Barn concert season is held here over summer. There is also an art galley at Black Barn, exhibiting works by New Zealand’s leading contemporary artists.
As a holiday destination, Hawke’s Bay stands out thanks to its fantastic food and wine, outstanding hospitality, and stunning beauty – Black Barn is no exception. This was another place that I’d dearly love to share with Jac.
RD12 Black Barn Road
Telephone: +64 6 877 7985
The Black Barn Bistro is open for lunch Wednesday to Sunday – bookings are essential.
The Cellar Door is open daily 10am to 5pm.
Two king-sized bedrooms with ensuites, up to 4 people
NZ$650 per night for the entire property
It’a one of 14 Black Barn luxury retreats to choose from.
This is the final post of my Hawke’s Bay series
I travelled to Hawke’s Bay and dined and stayed at Black Barn Vineyards as a guest of Tourism New Zealand. I had a wonderful time and hope you’ve enjoyed reading the stories about my trip. I hope to visit Hawke’s Bay again. Do you have a favourite place in Hawke’s Bay?
My trip highlights:
- Favourite place: The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
- Most memorable experience: Tracking down and meeting a kiwi bird named Tram Track
- Favourite lunch: Terrôir restaurant at Craggy Range in Havelock North
- Favourite dinner: Pacifica restaurant in Napier
- Favourite savoury dish: Pacifica’s warmed crayfish medallions and smoked eel porridge, and Terrôir’s signature steamed littleneck clams, Craggy range verjus and mustard cream sauce
- Favourite sweet dish: Mister D’s famous doughnut with injectable fillings, and the housemade Dutch spice ice cream at The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
- Best “Ooooooh!” moment: Biting into The Damson Collection’s damson liqueur-filled chocolate (if you ever get the chance – try it!)
My Hawke’s Bay blog series
- Welcome to Napier
- Pacifica Restaurant, Napier
- Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Market, Hastings
- Te Mata Peak, Craggy Range and Terrôir Restaurant, Havelock North
- The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Part 1
- Elephant Hill, Te Awanga
- The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Part 2 – including the Kiwi Discovery Walk
- Cycling with Takaro Trails
- The Manse
- Country Culinaire, Orcona Chillis, The Damson Collection and On Yer Bike Tours
- Black Barn Vineyards, Havelock North – this post
Getting to Hawke’s Bay
I flew with Air New Zealand from Perth to Auckland, then flew via Mount Cook Airlines from Auckland to Napier in the Hawke’s Bay region. Mount Cook Airlines is one of three regional airlines that are part of Air New Zealand Link, connecting New Zealand’s regional centres and main international airports.
F.A.W.C! Summer Series 2013
The Food and Wine Classic, referred to as F.A.W.C! (pronounced ‘fawk’, rhymes with hawk), will see over 50 food and wine experiences held over 10 days in Hawke’s Bay. It kicks off with a launch party at Craggy Range Winery on 1 November and finishes with the Carnivore Carnival at the Hawke’s Bay Races on 10 November.
Find out more about F.A.W.C! – tickets on sale now.