It is no secret that we like good wine. We have stopped at vineyards here in NZ that have truly changed our minds about NZ wines. And there is no going back-we are hooked! When an opportunity came up to stay in an old schoolhouse that was converted to a B&B and located on a vineyard, it was hard to pass up.
During the 1930’s, one-room schoolhouses were very popular as many areas were very remote all over New Zealand. The Redwood Valley School building was closed in the 60’s due to falling enrollment and was offered for removal. It had a painted fireplace, chalkboard, world map, and beautiful high ceilings with tall windows all around. The bright green exterior paint and white trim made it stand out as a large truck drove it to its current location, Kina Beach Vineyards. The original owners of the vineyard had it hauled up on a hill in 1999 and did some renovation and updating, creating a wonderful open and airy abode for visitors to stay and enjoy. We were delighted to be here for three nights and loved every minute of it. We even had a complimentary bottle of wine and a homemade loaf of bread waiting for us as we arrived.
We enjoyed looking at all the details inside, trying to figure out what was original to the house and what might have been added. We found out later that most of the detail was original, including the fireplace.
On the deck, we enjoyed a glass and a beautiful view and sunset. Soo relaxing here that you wished you had a schoolhouse of your own to retreat to when life became too stressful.
According to the Kina Beach website, “Kina Beach Vineyard is a beautiful boutique wine estate overlooking the Tasman Sea near Nelson on New Zealand’s South Island…” So true. They produce grapes for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc wines. We did enjoy a chardonnay when we arrived, but like many vineyards in a faraway land, you can only buy them here.
We arrived just after harvest when they are able to take down all the netting that protects the grapes from Mother Nature’s pets. It was a great unveiling that we enjoyed watching. Once they were done, the vineyard showed its true autumn colors. We did enjoy some appetizers on the deck while watching the whole process. It was a lot of work but it seems all the vineyards have to do it to get the most grapes.
On our last day here, I hated to give up the key. I really loved the front door and the key-so charming! During our stay here, we had not tasted any of the other wines and on our last day, I lost Shawn just before we were ready to leave. He went to pay the bill and did not return. So I walked around taking a few more pictures when I realized I already knew where he was. He was in Stan’s Cottage, the cute tasting room a few steps away from the schoolhouse. As I walked towards it, I did hear voices and of course, Shawn walks out grinning. Yup, it is never too early for a taste!