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  • Day9

    Marlborough Wineries

    December 24, 2016 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    We didn't have long to transition from paddling to pedaling. Our lodge was surrounded by many wineries (not an accident) and offered bikes to cruise among them. We chose this region for wine tasting (NZ has many) because they produce some of our favorite Sauvignon Blanc. It's quite renowned internationally so it can be found all over in the states.

    Like most good wine regions, the area is subject to large diurnal temperature swings and microclimates. There are also three distinct types of soil (clay) which create different notes: tropical, green bean, and earthy. Most wineries combine grapes from 2 or 3 regions to balance the wine.

    The first stop was Whitehaven. We enjoyed almost all of their lineup, especially the Pinot Gris. Next up was No. 1 Family Estate which specializes in sparkling wine. We also stopped at Huia, where we were joined by fellow Californians, and Giesen, a large producer wth German heritage and generous samples. The last stop before closing time was Nautilus, also quite good and available in the states.

    We rode our bikes back and walked to the grocery store before the impending day-long closure of the entire country. At the store, the owners of a very small family vineyard were passing out more samples so we gladly obliged. Like most people we met, they were eager to tell us about their country. When we asked why everyone was so friendly, he told us that it's because they live so far away from everyone else so they have no choice if they want company.

    Since we were in no condition to drive, and no Uber or taxis in town, we were relegated to dining options in walking distance. We went to an English pub called Cork & Keg for some fish & chips and pizza. Not the best Christmas Eve dinner, but a memorable day nonetheless.
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