Hubby and I are love setting traditions within our little family. We believe these little customs help enrich and sustain our family bonds. Long after we are gone and our children have families of their own we can only hope that these customs we create together are be passed down. In terms of our relationship, traditions provide something invariable and uninterrupted. In a relentlessly, ever-changing, fast paced world, a relationship can really benefit from a few constants.
For our first wedding anniversary we went on a Marlborough Wine Tour. Even if you’re not a hopeless romantic theres something undeniably charming about wineries & vineyards. We had such a blast sipping and soaking up our picturesque surroundings, so much so, we decided that every year, for our anniversary, we would do a wine tour in honour of the day we married.
We travelled via the Interislander’s Cook Strait ferry to Picton, a three hour voyage which definitely lives up to its description as ‘one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world’. If you can, choosing to travel premium lounge is definitely great value. Space, comfort, and complimentary food and beverages.
Although hubby and I are far from wine connoisseurs we are quite passionate about wine and chose to book a tour that would be both informative and fun. The reviews on Marlborough Wine Tours were enough to for us to sign up and the experience did not disappoint.
On arrival to picton we were greeted by our lovely escort Andy who took us on route to meet with our guide Tricia. The dynamic duo were extremely knowledgable and ensured the journey through New Zealands premier wine region was both pleasurable and educational.
Marlborough is famous for its world class sauvignon blanc which put New Zealand on the international wine stage. So of course a few drops of the much applauded white wine is absolutely essential.
First stop, Spy Valley! One of the countries most acclaimed wineries, whose name was inspired by the US government listening post located only minutes away. Our host was easy going and friendly and the tasting experience was incredibly relaxed and free flowing. Of all the wineries we visited on our tour Spy Valley was definitely the most generous. Here, hubby made our first purchase of the day, a mouthwatering bottle of Iced Sauvignon Blanc.
Entrenched in idyllic settings I seized an opportune moment to get lost amongst the greenery…
On our tour we had the pleasure of being hosted by some of the winery owners themselves, who shared their journey and personal stories behind their wines. I didn’t realise how much love goes into the complex art form that wine making is.
Family run Bladen Wines was by far my husbands favourite tasting destination. We were warmly welcomed by owner Dave McDonald who delivered a sophisticated and intimate wine tasting session. Hubby had a blast with Dave, who was able to translate the delicate details wine entails into a bloke-friendly way. A boutique vineyard with a beautiful cellar door setting that should definitely be on everyones wine tasting bucket-list.
We purchased an irresistible bottle of their Gewürztraminer 2015. I fell in love with its full bodied richness and the turkish delight flavour that softly lingered on my palette.
Lively, boisterous and high energy are a few words to describe Howard and Julie Simmonds owners of the Gibson Bridge cellar door. Their eclectically styled wine studio was an experience in itself, fancy yet inviting. Gibson Bridge was beyond any doubt my favourite winery of the day. Entertaining, interactive and engaging. And as for their award winning Pinot Gris, its worth all the hype and then some, absolutely divine!
We picked up a bottle of their Rosé Reseve 2015 which had a crisp and fresh taste. We learnt that Rosé is best served chilled and the perfect thirst quencher for the sweltering summer season. I’m looking forward to enjoying this drop on Valentine’s Day.
Our last destination was the St Clair Family Estate. We were extremely excited to be visiting their quarters, being huge fans of their Omaka Reserve Style Pinot Noir. A classy premises through and through with a swanky tasting to match. This experience felt a little less intimate and more commercial, I guess with so many numbers in and out their doors they have a more refined approach to their wine tasting experience.
Marlborough Wine Tours has really opened me up to the fine art that is wine. There is heart and personality in each glass we drink. I highly recommend a tour with this company, take hubby, the girls or mum and dad. It’s an experience you wont forget.