When it comes to wineries, it’s not just the taste of the wine that matters. Visual aesthetic, snack pairings and a great view are all crucial considerations. Somm can tick these off the list – as well as proximity to Auckland CBD offices.
It’s owned by Foley Hospitality (formerly Nourish Group), which enlisted Nott Architects to transform the interior from the nautical aesthetic of the pre-existing Crab Shack into a 130-seat industrial space. Grey concrete and exposed fittings are softened by rounded wooden furniture and seating, and golden light illuminates the many wine bottles lining the wall.
One glimpse demonstrates the wine list is comprehensive. Somm bills itself as an urban cellar door that celebrates New Zealand’s key wine regions: Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough, Martinborough, Central Otago and Waiheke Island. Its menu reflects this, with the first pages dedicated to regional wine flights. You can also do tastings by variety – sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and pinot noir – and there’s an extensive cellar list.
Foley Hospitality has Vavasour, Mt Difficulty and several other makers under its Foley Wines umbrella. These are well represented on Somm’s lists but aren’t the sole brands, with big names such as Church Road and Tantalus Estate joining the line-up.
Wine testing would be incomplete without snacks. There’s high quality antipasti and charcuterie, as well as local cheeses such as goat cheese from Martinborough and smoked brie from Otago. Sharing plates continue the local theme, with a First Light Wagyu rump made with a Bannockburn jus sourced from Mt Difficulty’s vineyards.
There are pizzas made with 72-hour dough and toppings like cheese, mortadella and zingy pickles, or roasted carrot with ricotta, lemon zest and parmesan.
Plenty of outdoor tables mean you can soak up sun and harbour views along with your wine.
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