Day 6 – Today is the much-anticipated Marlborough Food & Wine Festival. Unfortunately we did not know the festival was on until we tried booking accommodation and the tickets were all sold out….weeks ago so we were told laughingly when we asked where we buy tickets. However not all was lost as we woke up to a beautiful sunny day. I jumped out of bed when I saw the sun peaking through the drapes and got out my camera and gear and made sure all my lenses were clean, batteries charged ready to go as this was the day I have been waiting for. I couldn’t believe how magnificent this place really was until today. I was so excited I got Marcus and Jasper up so we could get started. We took off and take some shots of the beautiful wineries and surrounding vineyards and the mountains in the background that we didn’t know existed until today. Sadly the blue skies only lasted the morning when the clouds once again moved in for the remainder of the day.
We decided to get some pictures at some of the regions famous wineries- the ones Marcus and I drink a lot of in Canada. We went to Villa Maria; Matua and Cloudy Bay. Cloudy Bay’s reserve Sauvignon Blanc was the best we tried but like many great wines you can only by it at the winery.
Went back to our beautiful cottage and Marcus cooked us up a yummy seafood feast of prawns, salmon and scallops. You can take the Aussie out of Australia…but he still finds a BBQ to cook up an Aussie barbie wherever he goes!
I decided to download my photos and do some work sitting with a glass of wine in my hand. I tried to boot my relatively new computer up and it wouldn’t load. I tried several more times with the same result. Freaking out, I tried to call Canada tech support to get help and after we tried a couple things it still would not boot up. The tech support guy said “get it in to an apple store as soon as you can”…which is easier said than done in the middle of New Zealand in a remote wine region. After a restless nights sleep, dreaming of losing all my photos since the last back up which was in Canada I woke up and decided…after Marcus, being the calm one convinced me to worry about it later since there was nothing left I could do here.
Day 7 – Woke up to another sunny clear cool day and decided to go and check out Nelson and stop in at some more wineries to taste and take photos along the way. Nelson is a lovely coastal town with big expensive houses, pristine beaches full of bathers and the crystal ocean packed with kite boarders. It was nice to explore the area since we haven’t really ventured too far out of Marlborough since we arrived. We stopped at a beautiful lake on the way that reminded us of Rocky Mountain Lake in Canada. This country really is glorious when the sun in shining!
We came back and met with Clyde and his delightful wife Helen to take some photos and firm things up before they head over to the U.K. for three weeks.
Day 8 – The sun was splendid while it lasted but we are back to the overcast cool weather today. Marcus made several appointments with wineries today to taste and hopefully find one more high-end wine, hopefully a Sauvignon Blanc for our members…we said we were looking to buy “hard to find small producers” and we are really staying true to our word…a little too true! Success! …he found a “cracker” Sauvignon Blanc from a producer named Tupari that does not sell in Canada. We are REALLY hoping they have enough quantities for us…fingers crossed. We then went back to Te Whare Ra to firm up quantities and varieties we are buying and to take some pictures in their very organized winery and picturesque barrel cellar. We re-tasted the three wines we are bringing to our members – Riesling, Pinot Noir and Noble Riesling and they are all amazing.
Marcus brought back a bottle of the Tupari Sauvignon Blanc and he opened it so I could taste it…WOW it is amazing, probably the best Sauvignon Blanc we have tried…and believe me we have tried a lot. Just as we were trying the wine on the patio, watching the bright red sun set over the walnut block vineyard Marcus’s cell started ringing – Tupari calling to let us know that they have the quantities to sell to us. So we have done it and we are very ecstatic!
You, our members have some great wines to make room for in your cellars and get very excited about. These are all wines that are going to be perfect for summer, sitting on your patio, going for a picnic to a park or beach, entertaining with and most important pair with food and to share with loved ones. We have been very fortunate to taste arguably some of the world’s best wines and to find just what we sought out to do – buy the best wines and varieties the region has to offer and bring them back to Canada for our members. The fact that we are again working with such lovely people is the added bonus. I would highly recommend New Zealand as a place to go and visit. The people have been incredibly hospitable especially Clyde and Helen from Walnut Block, they really went above and beyond to ensure our stay was perfect…and it was.
After a busy and successful trip we headed back to Christchurch for the LONG journey back to British Columbia…and hopefully to sort out my computer problems. The good news is that the computer genius’s were able to retrieve all my data and fix my computer so all is well that ends well!