The Screw Cap Edition
Hi folks! I’m delighted to have been invited to Uncork & Unwined today. I just love K’s blog, not least of all because I too have a passion for coffee, wine & travel. So on that note, I have decided to chat a bit about my recent New Zealand trip, where wine played an integral role. My boyfriend & I were there on vacation for two & a half weeks in January, & we particularly enjoyed our wine tour in Marlborough.
Since this was my first visit to NZ, everywhere we visited was new to me. And everywhere was also fabulous. Reaching Marlborough was no exception, even though we arrived in grey, overcast, misty & tremendously windy conditions – right in the middle of a cyclone that was bringing in some extreme weather! Despite this, however, the scenery remained gorgeous, & I remained excited about our wine tour.
The Marlborough region of the South Island is considered the wine capital of NZ & is famed for its (delicious) Sauvignon Blancs. Since this just happens to be my ultimate favorite wine, I didn’t think I could go wrong! Our wine tour was booked for the following day, & we expected to be enjoying our vino in raincoats since the bad weather was forecast to continue. So imagine our surprise next morning when we unexpectedly awoke to beautiful, cloudless, blue skies & bright sunshine - weather that was perfect for wine tasting, as well as for further accentuating the amazing scenery.
I’d booked our tour with Bubbly Grape Wine Tours (http://www.bubblygrape.co.nz/) - they had great online reviews from previous wine tasters, so I felt we couldn’t go wrong there. We weren’t disappointed either. Kerry who runs the company was our tour guide for the day. She is a very lovely, friendly & fun-loving Australian, & knows more than quite a bit about the wine industry.
There were only 4 of us on the tour, so it was a really cozy trip. Our cohorts were a slightly older Dutch couple who were so much fun to hang out & drink wine with. Kerry took us all to five local vineyards, including Bouldevines Estate (http://www.bouldevineswine.co.nz/cellardoor.asp) which we really loved – they have a handful of other things on site, in addition to their cellar door for wine tasting - including a nice café, gift shop, ice cream & fudge shop, & liqueur tasting room. All in all, a great stopping point to cover a multitude of evils!
During the tour we got to sample heaps of wonderful wines at each vineyard – many Sauvignon Blancs as you can imagine, but also some other lovely whites, such as Chardonnay, Gewurtztraminer & Pinot Gris (which we took home with us). And although Marlborough is better known for its whites, we also happened upon some of their fantastically aromatic reds – in particular some Syrah as well as a tasty Merlot-Malbec blend which also both found their way home with us!
Kerry extended our tour way beyond the scheduled finishing time – we must have been a well-behaved group! She squeezed in an extra, fifth vineyard for us, even though we were initially supposed to visit just four. I really didn’t want the day to end, it had all been so perfect – weather, wine and company. We couldn’t have asked for a better day all around.
Marlborough was our last stop on the South Island – the morning after our wine tour we headed a north to Picton to catch the ferry across to the North Island. It was very sad to bid goodbye to the South Island, and in particular the lovely Marlborough region – we could definitely have stayed there longer. But we were still excited to see what adventures (& wines) the North Island had to offer us.
If you’ve never been to NZ, I’d highly recommend it if you ever get the chance to visit – and be sure to stop over in Marlborough. Even if you’re not a fan of the grape, the scenery alone is worth the visit.