Award-Winning Hawke’s Bay

Elephant Hill winery, clad in copper and nestled in a vineyard, Te Awanga, Hawke's Bay

Award-Winning Hawke’s Bay

There are a lot of super innovative people in Hawke’s Bay – throughout New Zealand actually; an extension of the No 8 wire mentality perhaps. But, as we all know, innovative ideas are just the beginning. It’s vision, passion, skill and sheer hard work that ensure these ideas reach fruition. All over Hawke’s Bay, teams are quietly overdelivering; creating premium products and experiences, each for their niche market. Thank goodness for awards! The local publicity that winning a national or international award generates, keeps both locals and visitors in the know and encourage us, perhaps, to get out and experience or taste some of these award-winning gems for ourselves.

Award: Cuisine Good food Awards 2018 – Yellow Brick Road, Best Winery Restaurant
Recipient: Elephant Hill Restaurant

This winery restaurant has been wowing locals and visitors to this region, since 2003, so it’s great to see it recognised at a national level. Everything about Elephant Hill is impressive. The expansive building at the end of the long driveway, commands attention. The green hue of the copper cladding is intriguing by virtue of its use on such a scale. This building houses the restaurant, the cellar door and the winery. It was designed to give a gentle nod to its surroundings; the vineyards, the ocean and the dramatic cliffs of Cape Kidnappers. Ample glass in the restaurant’s interior ensures an uninterrupted view of these surrounds; an integral part of the dining experience. The meals are consistently of a very high standard; a delight to the eye as well as to the taste buds!

A glass or two of Elephant Hill’s finest adds to the experience as does the attentive but subtle service. For all of this, Elephant Hill doesn’t take itself too seriously. It gives the same attention to the taste and presentation of one of its platters as it does to a main, or any other course. It welcomes groups on four-seater bikes as warmly as it welcomes those who alight from luxury vehicles. A meal or platter at Elephant Hill should be a must-do on your gastronomic ‘To Do’ list.

Mention must also be made of the following restaurants that were finalists in this award, making the Cuisine Good food Awards 2018 – Top 100 List. No mean feat!
Bistronomy, Black Barn Bistro, Pacifica, Te Awa Winery Restaurant & Craggy Range Restaurant

Award: 2018 New Zealand Food Awards – Best Non-Alcoholic Beverage
Recipient: The Apple Press
Product: The Apple Press – Jazz

This Hawke’s Bay newcomer, operating from its custom-built premises in Whakatu, is already making a big impression on both local and national fronts. The x-factor of this cold-pressed apple juice company is two-fold. Firstly, all the apples used are grown in Hawke’s Bay; perfect apples with flawed appearances. Secondly, unlike its competitors, The Apple Press juices are varietal: Jazz (the award winner), Braeburn, Envy and Royal Gala. The range also includes three blends of the apple varietal plus orange, feijoa or pear. They’re adding to their range constantly.

Co-Founders Ross Beaton and Sally Gallagher have put in the hard yards getting this business off the ground in what would appear to be a highly competitive market. Clearly their efforts are paying off. This brand holds its own, if not takes pride of place, in supermarket fridges throughout New Zealand. It is also the go-to, non-alcoholic beverage at a growing number of trendy cafes & eateries. Word is out!

The Apple Press has had coverage in Dish Magazine and it’s been an ingredient in My Food Bag. Now it’s won a major award. It’s clear that this company is moving and shaking so it’s time for you to get in on the action. Start with the award-winning Jazz and then sample your way through the range. I think you’ll be impressed.

Award: Winner of the New Zealand Recreation Association – Outstanding Park Award, 2018
Recipient: Anderson Park, Greenmeadows, Napier

Every weekend, hundreds of young ones attest to the success of the new destination playground at Anderson Park. It fizzes with children of all ages from dawn ‘til dusk. To list what it contains would be an onerous task but think movement, think water, think interactional, think art – think a ten metre tower exited via big tubes. There hasn’t been as much excitement in the area since the park was a racecourse back in the day, and the horses were entering the home straight.

This playground was always going to be a success because a consultative approach was taken since its inception when locals were asked to submit their dream playground ideas. And dream they did!

If the playground holds no interest for you, the new paths and simple but effective plantings throughout make walking, cycling or skateboarding around here a very pleasant experience and one that’s no longer weather dependent. Don’t be deterred by the swans. They enforce their own set of rules in the pond area.

Take your child, grandchild, friend – or go solo! Check out for yourself what the noise is about. You won’t be disappointed.

There are a number of other award winners that deserve a mention – but that will be a new blog. I haven’t even touched on our award-winning wines. I know where they can be found though. Do you fancy a tour that unearths these award winners? Enquire now about what we can offer you. We encourage questions. After all, it’s Your Tour so you must be happy with it right from the planning stage. Hear from you soon.