The Marlborough region is known for its wineries, and we read in the Lonely Planet and the GOOT guide about the most fun and eco-friendly way to visit them: by bike!
Wine Tours by Bike equips you with a helmet, water bottle, and bike (with a built in wine-carrier!), plus they set up a personalized itinerary of which wineries to visit.
Cycling around the vineyards was definitely the best way to see them: the views of the fields of vines against the mountains were breathtaking.
The first winery we visited was called Villa Maria.
Our first taste was a slightly sparkling Sauvignon Blanc – probably my favorite of the whole day!
We ventured off (past fields of sheep)
to the next winery, River Farm.
The Marlborough region specialized in Sauvignon Blanc, but this winery in particular makes good reds (my favorite!). I especially love reds on a chilly fall day like today!
This place was extra special because they had a cheese pairing to go with their Pinot Noir! The most delicious cow’s milk feta I have ever had. It was creamy and tangy and made my heart sing.
They were also offering their olive oils for tasting! This olive oil had a bit of a green flavor, the way olive oil should taste. Earthy, natural, and light.
Afterwards, it was right across the road to Fromm, a European-style winery.
This winery was particularly special because they are one of the few wineries in New Zealand that use corks!
Hannah and I collect corks, so we were bummed when we came to New Zealand and could not find a single bottle with one (they are all screw-tops). The woman at Fromm told us that the cork widely available in New Zealand are of poor quality and would ruin the wine, which is why everyone switched to screw caps.
Fromm pays for the expensive, high-quality corks, though. The woman let us take two for our collection!
From Fromm we cycled to the Cork and Keg for lunch.
We cheated on our Irish Pubs for this English one.
Though Marlborough is known for their wine, they also have quite a few breweries!
We sampled Moa (named after the extinct brew) and it was really good!
Bitter is a rustic, crafty way. Enjoyed with some of the best chips I’ve had here yet! They were nice and crunchy and thick. Yummmm
After our relaxing lunch, we headed to a few of the smaller, family-owned wineries. First was my favorite winery of the day, Gibson Bridge.
They are a single-field winery owned and operated solely be a funky husband and wife couple. They had some excellent Rose, but i mostly loved the small-business spirit of the place.
(To be continued…)
Internet is really sparse here in the South Island, but I will try and update the blog as often as I have access! Until next time…Namaste!