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FOOD & DRINK

Villa Maria Has Reworked Its Cellar Door to Host Intimate Wine Experiences

The reworked space will focus on unique experiences like barrel tastings and private winemaker tastings by appointment.
By Stephen Heard
October 06, 2020
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Villa Maria Has Reworked Its Cellar Door to Host Intimate Wine Experiences

The reworked space will focus on unique experiences like barrel tastings and private winemaker tastings by appointment.
By Stephen Heard
October 06, 2020
  shares

New Zealand's most awarded winery, Villa Maria, has reimagined the cellar door at its picturesque Māngere estate. Now called The Tasting Room, the newly refurbished space will no longer operate as a full-service restaurant. Instead, it will focus on delivering unique wine experiences like barrel tastings and private winemaker tastings by appointment.

The capacity has been reduced to ten people to open up the space for storytelling and intimate tasting experiences, both seated and standing, while the menu has been designed to enhance the full range of wine on offer. The winery partnered with Collective Hospitality to deliver the contemporary menu of small plates and platters, with executive chef James Wilkinson bringing his expertise to The Tasting Room kitchen.

Wilkinson says his love for seasonal and homegrown produce helped build the menu of "playful yet sophisticated dishes that highlight each wine."

His menu includes dishes like kaarage chicken with peach and honey glaze, a crayfish and lardo eclair with spiced bisque mayonnaise, chardonnay braised pig's cheek croquettes, and a white chocolate and cep tart with dark cherry gel. Two grazing platters are available for a more relaxed dining experience — they include a selection of cured meats, local cheeses and artisan breads.

Villa Maria's huge range of wine is available by the glass or bottle to match. Visitors can choose from a library selection curated by Chief Winemaker Nick Picone and Master of Wine Matt Deller, or work through an extensive list covering sparkling, aromatics and blended reds. For the indecisive, the tasting flights include three pours, from the cellar selection to light and bright varieties and reserve reds.

Daily winery tours kick off at 2pm, while the vineyard walking trail is a self-guided tour designed to showcase the estate and its 20,000-year-old volcanic crater.

Villa Maria's The Tasting Room will be open from Saturday, 10 October, and Tuesday to Saturday thereafter from 11am–7pm. Reservations are recommended.

Find The Tasting Room at Villa Maria Estate, 118 Montgomerie Road, Mangere. For more information and reservations, visit villamaria.co.nz.

Published on October 06, 2020 by Stephen Heard

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