Marlborough Wine Tasting

by Johnny

We took a windy but beautiful ferry from Wellington across the Cook Strait and through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton, where we picked up Big Red, a 2003 Nissan Wingroad (huh?) and our primary source of transportation as we tour the South Island for the next couple of weeks.

Our first stop was Blenheim, a town that is nothing to write home about but that is located smack dab in the middle of New Zealand’s Marlborough wine region. Marlborough produces about three quarters of the country’s wine and is world famous for its sauvignon blanc, so we had our work cut out for us. We tasted wines at Allan Scott, Bladen (our favorite), Hunter’s, Saint Clair and Wither Hills (great view), and while they were all yummy, our favorite part of Blenheim had to be our accommodation at St. Leonards. St. Leonards was recommended to us by my old SF roommate Kyle who had stayed there while traveling in New Zealand before working a crush at Amisfield (which, coincidentally, is where my brother Jay just took a job as a chef…more on that soon). Anywho, St. Leonards was awesome!  It’s basically an old farm that has been converted into five charming cottages…Anna and I had the Old Dairy and Pete and Susan had the Shearers Quarters…complete with a tennis court, a petanque court, sheep, chickens and friendly hosts Paul and Daphne.  In the morning we would cook some farm fresh eggs and toast with homemade lemon and lime marmalade…so good that we had Daphne write down the recipe for us.  In fact, we liked St. Leonard’s so much that we made all our meals there.  Breakfast, then wine tasting, then a picnic in the garden, then more wine tasting, then a BBQ at night…safe to say our South Island tour has gotten off to an awesome start.

A little windy on the ferry over… …but the views were worth it
Big Red off to a rocky start Big Red made it!
Wine tasting at Wither Hills
The view from Wither Hills
Lunch at Allan Scott Wine tasting at Bladen
Our front yard at St. Leonards
The Woolshed

The Shearers Quarters

The Old Dairy
Our neighbors
Farm fresh eggs for breakfast Breakfast in the garden
Big Pete BBQing in the garden Weeeeeee!
Anyone for tennis? Check out that form
Big Pete; Hen Whisperer Just hangin’ out
Picnic at St. Leonards
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2 Comments to “Marlborough Wine Tasting”

  1. Some of the pictures from Wither Hills are absolutely incredible. How does Big Red compare to the trusty old Green Dragon?

  2. The picture of you guys crawling under the car reminds me of the start to our Portugal trip. Read: Beemer stuck in the sand, so put down the beer and save the beast.

    The rest of it looks, as usual, breathtaking. 6 more weeks until you come home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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