Monday, 18 February 2013

New Zealand Life - Part 3: Wine

As both MizHB and I are rather partial to a glass (or bottle) of nice wine, we could hardly travel round New Zealand and not visit a vineyard. So, just to be ultra-sure we didn't miss out, we made the village of Renwick, in the heart of the Marlborough wine region, our first stop on the South Island. This is an area that over the last decade has transformed from an economy based on sheep farming to become one of New Zealand's most prosperous wine districts.

We arrived a bit later than planned, due to a few delays on the ferry across, so ate lunch whilst walking to our first vineyard stop - lining the stomach is so important. At Forest Wines we went for the six tasting option - each. So twelve different wines between us - my Dad would approve. We then put on our best wine connoisseur expressions, with lots of sniffing and umming and ahhing, but most importantly lots of tasting! None of this spitting out nonsense - we were looking for maximum wine for our money! The Gruner Veltliner was approved of, as was the Chenin Blanc (despite MizHB's protestations that it smelt of sileage) but our favourites came out as a 2008 Riesling and a rather yummy late harvest Sauvignon Blanc. Though my top choice was a very rich, dark red blend which also came at a top price ($60 a bottle) - I obviously have expensive tastes...

We then walked to the much smaller, family run vineyard, Gibson Bridge, who specialise in Pinot Gris. Here we tasted ten wines, mainly whites, our definite favourite being a beautiful, sweet desert wine which tasted like liquid honey. At $65 a bottle it was slightly out of our price range, so we settled for a 2009 Pinot Gris and a 2011 Gew├╝rztraminer. Happy with our purchases we wandered back to our hostel- perhaps weaving ever so slightly - for some much needed dinner!

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