Veni, Vidi, Vintner

Trip Start May 30, 2005
Trip End Sep 30, 2006

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I headed for Blenheim for one thing only, wine tasting. The Marlborough region is New Zealand's premier wine making region and I wanted to give it a go.

Within 2 hours of arriving I was on a mini bus with eight others, we had to pay for the mini bus but the tasting at the wineries were free, why were four of the others Scottish? The age demographic of the bus was rather odd as well, average age was probably about 50 and I was probably the youngest on board, even our driver was about 80 years old.

The wineries were fantastic. The first one that we visited, Wilthered Hills, had the most amazing tasting room. It was like the board room of a blue chip company, a viewing balcony on the roof and access to the cellars below. It was the best winery but I wouldn't say it was the best wine.

There was a distinct lack of shenanigans as the afternoon wore on and the realisation slowly donned on me that I was actually on a wine tasting, a concept that I'd not had to previously deal with. It was perfectly pleasant but before long I found myself back at the hostel. The hostel was mostly occupied by people that work in the wine industry here (i.e. picking grapes and bottling) with relatively few tourists just passing through.

Before I'd left the UK I'd read a few other travelpods as research for the trip, mostly about the trans-siberian railway. One travelpod had stuck out in particular and I'd ended up reading it all as it was so good. Can you believe that I met him in the hostel that night, small small world.

My nice sleep that evening was punctured by a knocking at the door at 7am, I tried to ignore it but they were persistant. Someone was looking for their friend. Despite the fact that there were several others in the room I got up and answered it eventually.
"Is Paul there?"
"Do you know what bed he's in?"
"Is he in this room?"
"I don't know"
"Do you know what time it is!"
"Some of us don't have work in the morning you know", closing the door on her.

With that my time in Blenheim was over and time to move on.
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