16.5 / 20
BLACK ESTATE impresses from the moment its low black outline appears on the horizon through the limestone terroir and vinecovered slopes. A simple building, designed to allow in maximum sunlight, houses the tasting room and restaurant, carefully overseen by hands-on owners Nicholas Brown and Penelope Naish. It’s the sort of spot you go to for a snack and a glass or two of Black Estate wine, but the tempting menu and the expertise of the staff can easily turn a short visit into a long and enjoyable dining experience. The food is locally sourced and celebrated, and many of the techniques are undertaken in-house. Gently smoked fish with pickled shallots and seaweed bread paired with the Home Block Black Estate Chardonnay 2016 was a recent inspired match, and local truffles are celebrated at truffle season to great effect. The experience is enhanced by well-trained staff who will confidently recommend matches.
614 Omihi Rd, Waipara Valley, 03 314 6085, blackestate.co.nz; lunch Wed-Sun; mains $34-$40
Simple, seasonal and flavourful produce in a warm and laidback atmosphere