IT'S NOT FAR FROM DOWNTOWN AUCKLAND AS THE CROW FLIES. And even by road, changing the weekday view takes only 45 minutes. But it is not just to exchange views of city rooftops, for these vine-clad slopes above the coast, that the journey is made most weekends. It's that this is where he best likes to be.
Michael Lorimer is very much a man of the town, concerned with how his city, and especially its downtown, works; often bringing groups with differing interests together to see how they can preserve or improve the area. But his vineyard is a break from all of that - and most weekends he is here tending the vines, on this property not far from Matakana village.
Coxhead Creek is another tiny vineyard, just five acres, and it produces only a few hundred cases. But that is not what is important; the focus is on quality, and from the first vintage in 2004, the wines from this site promised richness and complexity.
THE SKY OVERHEAD IS SUCH A PRESENCE that it was almost a given to somehow put it on the label. Perhaps few of us are actually moon or sun worshippers, but the disc of gold or silver or even red as it rises out of the sea and moves slowly overhead, struck me as a fitting representation of this place, although the abstract, and urban sensibility of the packaging was surprising to some of the locals.
WINE VARIETIES: SYRAH AND CABERNET FRANC BLENDS.