Looming large over the Te Awanga coastline is the copper-clad colossus that has created huge excitement since opening in 2008. An enormous carved wooden elephant stands guard over the state-of-the-art winery and corporate offices, owned by German couple Roger and Reydan Weiss. The spacious, modern cellar door and restaurant boast views to die for and offer impressive winesof uncompromising quality.
Things to know
Thanks to acquiring vineyards in the Gimblett Gravels and Bridge Pa Triangle districts, Elephant Hill can now concentrate its aromatic whites – pinot gris, gewurztraminer, chardonnay, viognier and sauvignon blanc – on the coast, and Bordeaux varieties and syrah inland. Tours of the winery and underground cellar can be arranged in advance.
Syrah is a strongpoint for winemaker Steve Skinner, but his chardonnays are also excellent and do try the premium blended white Le Phant Blanc.
Elephant Hill Restaurant
Elephant Hill was deservedly named Best Winery Restaurant in the Cuisine NZ Good Food Awards 2014. Accomplished chef Ashley Jones has been here since the beginning and is inspired by his locale, both land and sea. His duck confit with shiitake and thyme arancini and truffle powder is rich, earthy and delicious.
Hours Oct-April 7 days 11am to late; May-Sept 7 days lunch, Thurs-Sat dinner; Ph: 06-872 6060