Autumn Colours at Mission Estate
These images are a result of solving a wine buying problem on Easter Sunday. We needed some wine to share with our hosts, but all the normal retail outlets were closed for the holidays and small convenience stores were forbidden by law from selling liquor in Easter Sunday. Fortunately we were in the Hawkes Bay, second largest wine growing area in New Zealand. A quick telephone call to Mission Estate yielded the solution – their cellar was open for business. This was surprising since the wine estate is owned by the Marist Brothers order of the Catholic Church, but is now operated by an independent company on their behalf.
Mission Estate is Hawke’s Bay’s oldest winery. Marist Brothers began making sacrificial and table wine as early as the 1850s but the first recorded commercial sale was in 1870. The present winery site was purchased in 1897. Mission Estate has a proud place in New Zealand wine making history.
Easter in New Zealand is at the beginning of autumn so the vines were starting to turn yellow at the time of my visit. These photographs were taken late afternoon on an overcast day.