Wellington's cellar door to the Wairarapa

Foregoing a vineyard tour to sample the Wairarapa’s best wine in a cosy city bar may sound like an odd choice over summer, but it needn’t. At least that’s the view of Noble Rot Wine Bar co-owner Josh Pointon

Escarpment Vineyard of New Zealand’s Wairarapa wine region (image by New Zealand Wine).

Escarpment Vineyard of New Zealand’s Wairarapa wine region (image by New Zealand Wine).

 

In April, Josh and business partner Maciej Zimny opened a new wine room dedicated to the wines of the Wairarapa in their Wellington city premises on Swan Lane.

It’s called the ‘Wellington Wine Country room’ after a marketing initiative to promote Wairarapa wines under a single regional banner.

Josh and Maciej are using the room to host new wine releases, tasting evenings, meet-the-winemaker talks, and special events focused on pairing local food and wine.

Noble Rot’s Maciej Zimny and Josh Pointon (image by Jacqui Gibson).

Noble Rot’s Maciej Zimny and Josh Pointon (image by Jacqui Gibson).

Door to Noble Rot’s Wellington Wine Country Room (image by Jacqui Gibson).

Door to Noble Rot’s Wellington Wine Country Room (image by Jacqui Gibson).

This summer, it’s open for wine tasting tours. Josh explains, “We’re hoping cruise boat guests from overseas will pop in to learn about and taste our region’s world-class wines over the course of an afternoon.


“We’re also here for Kiwis who love the Wairarapa’s wine but can’t make it over the hill because they’re booked on the ferry the next morning.

“On the other hand, if you simply want a personal introduction to the wines of the region before you go, then that’s another good reason to drop in. We’ll tell you everything you need to know and give you plenty of tips on which vineyards to visit.”

Wine tasting tours

The night my husband and I stopped by, we got a decadent five-course, wine-paired menu lined up.

During the evening, we sampled three Martinborough wines: Escarpment, The Elder, and Devotus.

Each wine’s flavours, aromas, and vintage were explained. We were told about the terroir—the particularities of the land and climate in which the grapes are grown—and were offered the chance to compare them to wines from France, Lebanon, and California …

Wairarapa winery, Palliser Estate (image by Jacqui Gibson).

Wairarapa winery, Palliser Estate (image by Jacqui Gibson).