Rod & Noe­lene Buf­fet Mcalpine

Two Chim­ney Wines www.twochim­ney­

NZ Lifestyle Block - - FEATURE -

Nor­folk Is­lan­ders liv­ing off the land have di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion down to a fine art and that goes for the lo­cal vint­ners as well. Rod and Noe­lene Buf­fet Mcalpine pro­duce 1000 bot­tles a year, the first and only vine­yard on Nor­folk Is­land.

The soft, mar­itime cli­mate and vol­canic basalt soils lend them­selves to chardon­nay, semil­lon, verdelho, mer­lot, and cham­bourcin grapes. My pick was their sparkling cham­bourcin, a fresh, light wine with del­i­cate black­cur­rant flavours, per­fect for a mid-day Nor­folk Is­land pic­nic.

Rod and Noe­line al­ways have added value in mind, of­fer­ing tourists both wine tast­ing and the op­por­tu­nity to sam­ple some of the is­land’s fresh­est, pret­ti­est pro­duce. A range of chut­neys, rel­ishes, fresh fruits, veg­eta­bles and breads form the ba­sis of fra­grant herb-be­decked plat­ters which Noe­lene pre­pares her­self while vis­i­tors are busy sip­ping. When she in­tro­duces the plat­ters, strewn with is­land flow­ers, it’s like tak­ing a gar­den tour on a plate.

Whether or not you book a farm, wine or food tour while on Nor­folk, or choose to self-cater, it’s im­pos­si­ble to visit the is­land with­out en­coun­ter­ing in­no­va­tive, smart, de­light­ful use of small hold­ings.

There is no point in look­ing for a gro­cery store – they don’t ex­ist. In­stead, paw paw, guavas, peaches, plums, caulis, toma­toes and cu­cum­bers can all be found at the Sun­day and farmer’s mar­kets, and in the many tiny stalls in­trigu­ingly tucked into the door­ways of shops as di­verse as phar­ma­cies and hard­ware mer­chants. Nor­folk Is­lan­ders are self-suf­fi­cient when it comes to pro­duce and any that is spare is ei­ther traded with neigh­bours, given to ex­tended fam­ily or sold out­side the shop whose owner you just hap­pen to know (or be re­lated to!) and the hon­esty boxes that ac­com­pany these lit­tle stalls say it all.

Emily from The Hilli Goat Farm, and Rod and Noe­lene from Two Chim­ney Wines, and many oth­ers on Nor­folk Is­land of­fer a sim­ple yet highly so­phis­ti­cated range of ex­pe­ri­ences. I came away from Nor­folk Is­land won­der­ing why I hadn’t vis­ited this gem be­fore, and know­ing I would re­turn again. When I do, who knows what its imag­i­na­tive res­i­dents will have dreamed up next to en­able them to live the life they choose on their own patch of par­adise.

Noe­lene. Two Chim­ney Wine’s plat­ters are like vis­it­ing a flower show.

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