Archive for March, 2014

Cycling + wine

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March 25, 2014 00

Two of my most favourite things in the world are probably cycling and drinking wine. However, it’s not often that you get to combine the two (I don’t tend to have a quick glass of red before jumping on my road bike on a Saturday morning). Nor do you often get to combine these with a long weekend holiday.

If you are like me and you love wine, the Hawkes Bay region of New Zealand is the place to go.

I have actually spent lots of time in this area as I have family who live there – so hand on heart, I can tell you it’s beautiful. Hawkes Bay is on the east coast of the north island and has spectacular scenery and perfect weather.

But the other great reason for sipping wine in New Zealand’s wine country is that you can easily do it with a bicycle as this is a country with an entire network of cycling trails that are mostly off road.

Cycling in NZ's Hawkes Bay trails

Cycling on NZ’s Hawkes Bay trails

Those kiwis are a smart bunch  – they have really got it together. Back in 2009, the NZ Government decided to build a national, world class network of cycle trails and invested $50 million to do this. And the trails cover all parts of New Zealand.

Now if you’ve been to NZ or watched Lord of the Rings you may want to tell me that it’s a country of big big mountains. This is true, but the Hawkes Bay region is not that and cycling in this region is flat, easy, off road and safe.

Cycling trails in Hawkes Bay – flat, easy and off road

If you haven’t heard of Hawkes Bay it is famous for quite a few different wine varieties including cabernet merlot, syrah, pinot noir, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc (yes they seem to cover all bases).

This easter, my friends from Tour de Vines are hosting a cycling holiday there visiting some of Hawkes Bay’s best wineries – and giving friends of BikeGal.com a very special offer.

By mentioning BikeGal.com when you book, Tour de Vines and BikeGal.com will together make a $100 donation to the Amy Gillett Foundation for each booking!

It’s a five day/four night trip fully guided, all inclusive tour with 4/5 star accommodation, gourmet meals and winery visits. Click here to request a detailed itinerary to find out more. There are only a few spots left on this trip.

The best part is that all you have to do is rock up. You don’t even need to bring a bike with you – they will provide a 24 gear lightweight Scott hybrid bike.

Daily cycling ranges from 20 to 50 km each day but is mostly flat with lots of stops.

They are visiting some of the region’s most famous wineries such as Church Road Wines and Craggy Range Winery to name only a few – which are great for wine but also serve stunning food – which you can enjoy because you’ve burnt off all those calories just cycling there.

hawkes-bay-wine-and-food_fs2

Cycle off those calories and then enjoy the food and wine!

It’s not all non stop cycling. They have factored in some non cycling transport too, so when you go for a nice dinner, you don’t need to worry about cycling back to your hotel.

As this tour is running over the easter break (Thursday 17 to Monday 21 April), you can actually do it without even missing a day of work.

Alternatively if you have some spare holidays up your sleeve, you could finish this tour and head down to Wellington visiting the equally lovely Martinborough wine region on the way.

Flights from Sydney to Napier in Hawkes Bay (where Tour de Vines will pick you up) go via Auckland or Wellington.

Why sit around at home eating easter eggs, when you could be cycling around kiwi wine country sipping syrah?

And don’t forget to mention BikeGal.com when you book, to guarantee a $100 donation from Tour de Vines and BikeGal.com to the Amy Gillett Foundation.

Don’t delay, there are only a few spots left and it will sell out soon.

*This blog was sponsored by Tour de Vines. They provide food & wine based cycling tours all across Australia, New Zealand and Europe. BikeGal is actually a kiwi (yes born there!) and has spent A LOT of time in Hawkes Bay which she loves.

Sponsored blogs are aligned with our disclosure policy.