I travelled to the Marlborough Wine Region last year and spent two days wine tasting. The Sauvignon Blancs are famous in this area and I found the staff at Nautilus Winery really helpful and the wine a cut above the rest. I bought an amazing Winemakers Selection Sauvignon Blanc. In Marlborough, there is also a great chocolate shop and in the nearby town of Renwick a British Style Pub called the Cork and Keg serving locally brewed beers (if the wine gets too much!)
Many of New Zealand, and the world's, finest Sauvignon Blancs come from one flat valley floor in the north of New Zealand's south island. I spent a month based in Blenheim hand picking grapes for Montana wineries, and in my opinion by far the best way to explore this area is by bike hire. A circular tour of various cellar doors can be undertaken, with easy rides between the grape rows (between 1-2km) for each tasting session. Of particular note is Highfield Estate winery with a lovely restaurant with great views, and a climbable tower. Red wine lovers shouldn't fear exclusion because there are some lovely Pinot Noirs to taste as well as all the whites. It may not just be the exercise that gives you wobbly legs by the end of the day!
I was here in April 2009.
This is a wine estate making what they term 'ultra premium wine'. It's certainly very good indeed and better value than some of the top NZ labels. However, the estate itself is utterly spectacular. There is a seriously good restaurant, overlooking acres of vineyards, although prices are moderate, making it very, very good value for money. It seems to be a family-friendly place but I can think of few better settings for a romantic meal for two.
Accommodation is also available although we didn't stay there.
Rising above the main buildings is a mock-Italianate tower which you can climb for even more beautiful views. There is also public access to the winery itself and they conduct guided tours and demonstrations of the winemaking process.
Blenheim has more than its share of really famous wineries, but Highfield is in a class of its own.
Brookby Rd, RD2
Tel. +64 (3) 572 9244
Fax. +64 (3) 572 9257
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com