So with slightly tender undercarriages we set off on another days cycling around Marlborough. We rented bikes today, hybrids that made the kms slightly easier. The sky was still blue and the breeze was slight, so we were lucky.
First stop was a boutique chocolate shop, Makana, we got free chocolates on arrival, so that was a good start to the day. Macadamia nut brittles bought, we went over the road to our first vineyard.
Saint Clair vineyard was where we were served by an Argentine, Renzo, who was really good, chatty, knowledgable and had a lovely Spanish accent. ❤️
We tasted 12 wines, of which the Sauvignon Blanc Barrique 2015 cellar door release and Saint Clair Cabernet Merlot 2013 impressed us enough to for us to buy a bottle of each.
A short cycle down the road and we were in Hunters vineyard. They showcased, in our opinion, a classic style of wine, the Sauvignon Blanc was grassy, the Chardonnay was woody and creamy, the Pinot Noir was cherry’s and jam, and it stood out because of their consistency. In a country that is constantly doing something different, amazing, interesting with its wines it was actually quite a relief to have ‘classic’ wines to taste.
The setting was gorgeous as well with leaves turning to red on the tall vines in the entrance and an artist in residence as well.
Next up we were at Allan Scott vineyards, which we remember being quite good last time we were here. Sadly, this time round it was possibly the worst tasting we have been to, the wines were just OK apart from the last one, 2015 Pinot Noir which was too young. I have never had such a dry, tannic wine, it clearly wasn’t ready to taste so why they out it up there I really don’t know. Still it was short n sweet n cheap….. $4 for 3 tastings!!!!
Mouths left dry and stripped, we set off for Jackson estate, only to cycle into a pretty opening party and be told they were reopening in a week!!!
We set off to Rock Ferry, a vineyard our hosts had recommended for wine and food. It was a stunning setting, as they all are, and so we ordered food and did a quick tasting before eating. This vineyard made Pinot Blanc as a single varietal, interesting for its uniqueness but not that inspiring for me but Guy liked it, they also did a lush tempranillo, the only vineyard to do both grapes as a single varietal.
Feeling hungry we order a delicious desert and slowly roll the bikes the short distance back to Blenheim.
Todays scores on the doors are 44 wines tasted from 4 vineyards. 19 miles cycled according to Google.
We were planning on a quiet night in, however our hosts had friends round and generously offered us a glass of wine so we ended up chatting with a local councillor and his wife whose son plays for the Hurricanes and is mates with the All Black Ben Smith, and our hosts whose son, Peter, is assistant winemaker at Yealands and other son is in the Americas cup team for NZ, and another who plays cricket professionally. It is an amazing country!!! We listened to Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen, Cat Stevens and more…. A lovely evening.