After staying with Ben’s parents in Marahau for a few days – where we went kayaking and enjoyed the beach – we drove on to the Marlborough Sounds. We stayed in Queen Charlotte Sound, where Ben’s aunt and uncle live.
The area is beautiful, and reminded me of Milford Sound near Queenstown.
We definitely made our mark on the wineries, managing to visit five in one day, plus a cheeky stop in a brewery.
There is a cycle trail you can do from winery to winery, which takes you through the vineyards surrounding each one.
As the wineries we wanted to visit were all quite far apart, we drove – if you can find a driver to stay sober, this is the best way to do it! Luckily for us, Ben’s uncle opted/ was persuaded to drive.
Ben and I drink a lot of Villa Maria at home (mainly because it’s from his home country!) so we made sure that visiting the vineyard there was part of our tour.
I’m not being biased towards my favourite wine, but Villa Maria was the BEST vineyard. We were the only people there so we didn’t have to wait in a crowd to taste the wines, and the connoisseur spent time answering our questions and telling us about the wine region.
All the wineries offered a similar selection of wine types. They started with bubbly, then moved onto white, then red, and finished with desert wine. It’s no wonder I was feeling a bit dizzy by the end of the day!!
The Wither Hills winery was in the nicest setting. It was really modern and the grounds were very green and well-kept. The actual wine tasting wasn’t as good here because I think they wanted visitors to sit down and buy lunch and a bottle.
Lastly, we went to Giesen and ordered a cheese and meat platter to share between us. Ben commented that I actually ate properly and didn’t just pick like I normally do – because the cheese was amazing, and after all the wine, I was ravenous!
The wineries we visited were: Hunter’s Wines, Villa Maria, Wither Hills, Saint Clair, Giesen, and the Moa Brewery.
I’m so glad we went to the Marlborough district -it was fabulous!