Sunday, June 6, 2010

Winter weekend with wine and wheels

It's winter now and lots of the trees have changed colour. It reminds me a lot of how autumn feels back in the Midwest. Thankfully our winters don't get quite as cold as they do there. We're enjoying a long holiday weekend thanks to the Queen's birthday, which is the first Monday in June, and so we threw a suitcase in the car and drove up to Martinborough for a couple nights.

Martinborough is this wee town (see how well I'm using the local vocabulary?) just an hour or so north of Wellington that is known for its wines. Just like most areas in NZ, they do the sauvignon blanc and pinot noir best, but this weekend I really got to know the pinot gris a bit better. Yum!

Martinborough is small and flat and easy to navigate, so the best way to visit the vineyards is by bicycle. We pedaled around to four of them on Saturday.

The vines are pretty sparse at this time of year, and we saw sheep grazing between some of the rows. I don't know about the wine regions of France or California, but this seems like something you'll only see in New Zealand.

After a ride around town and dinner at the local bar, we went back to our B&B and sat in the hot tub. The weather on Sunday and Monday turned a bit wet and chilly, so we spent a lot of time hanging out with the housecat in front of the fire. Also had an amazing dinner at Brasserie One on Sunday -- we started with snails, then Jake ordered the lamb and I got the goat's cheese and hazelnut souffle. Delicious.

And we have to include this shot of Jake representing his school in front of a street sign in Martinborough. He was so proud.

1 comment:

Phil said...

As well as Kansas, you'll also find streets named Texas, Ohio, New York and even Broadway! in this tiny NZ town. Apparently its founder, John Martin, was an intrepid traveller, and named the streets after various places he had visited all round the world. Gives a somewhat incongruous, if not slightly bizarre, cosmopolitan flavour to the place.

Hope you tried some of the local olive oils that are produced there. One of your compatriots (Moon over Martinborough) makes a particularly fine product.