Sauvignon Blanc & Michelin Stars

Trip Start Oct 01, 2008
Trip End Nov 16, 2008

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Tuesday, October 28, 2008

OK arrived in Blenheim from Auckland (Via Nelson, Havelock & Picton) on Monday (Labour Day in NZ & Aus), it seems Bank Holidays are treated somewhat differently than I'm used to. (none of that "Bank Holiday Monday, Sunday hours, business). Everyone seemed to stay at home, and the odd, bar or restaurant that was open charges 15% extra for the privilage, very entrepeneurial.

The place we were staying was supercool, its a single room building (shed) in the grounds of a house which has citrus fruit trees growing everywhere and chickens, sheep and deer grazing / prowling around. We are just 3 minutes drive from the metropolis of Blenheim. We have fresh eggs from the "chucks" fresh oranges and lemons from the trees, what could be better? oh the fact that its right in the middle of one of the world's best wine regions, and the sun is shining. Hurrah.

So we were up with the dawn (almost) and off on our bikes to visit as many wineries (vineyards) as possible. 1st stop and the best, Cloudy Bay. Brilliant! sampled their "Champagne", Sauvignon Blanc, Fumee, Reisling, Gewurtztraminer, Pinot Noir and late season Reisling. Across the road is Allan Scott's, Organic SB, Estate SB,  Fumee, Reisling, Pinot Noir.
We stopped for a light lunch before heading off up the road to Bouldevines, SB 2007, SB 2008, Reisling, Pinot Noir, .... (you get the idea), the wind was behind us for the run down to Hunters, then Saint Clair (actually bought a bottle, SB of course) a brief stop at the boutique chocolate factory, before an uphill struggle back to the guest house with only time to stop at Drylands (home of Nobilo and Monkey Bay).

Phew a hot day of bicycling, 25km and probably about 2 bottles of wine consumed. But only an hour of R&R before the taxi was picking us up for our gastronomic experience of the holiday....

Herzog, michelin starred restaurant with its own vineyard, we arrived having already decide on the 5 course degustation menu. Matched wines with each course, waiters appearing out of every crack and crevice of the place. Rated as NZ's best restaurant in 2006 (what happened since then?). It was truly fantastic, amuse bouches of octopus, marinated feta croutons & scallop mousse (with Rose Cuvee). Fish course John Dory in potato jackets (not jacket potato) with green leaves (with Pinot Gris). Starter. Pumpkin & Coconut Soup with Scallops (with SB 2007)..... On top of all the wine we had already "tasted" it was all getting a bit much. Eventually we had polished off the last course, the coffee and the florentines and truffles and it was time to be transported "home". A truly magical day behind us.
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