New Zealand | Marlborough Wineries


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new zealand, south island, marlborough, blenheim, cloudy bay wineryCloudy Bay vineyard.The first stop of our New Zealand campervan adventure on the South Island was Hans Herzog Estate, one of the many wineries in New Zealand’s Marlborough region. As soon as our ferry arrived at Picton terminal, we drove straight to wine country.Not because were desperate for a drink, but because in winter, most wineries only stay open until 4:00 or 4:30 p.m. and it was already almost 2:00 p.m. when our ferry arrived. Luckily Kail had done some homework and found a couple good wineries — and a brewery — that had good reviews, so we knew where we wanted to go.new zealand, south island, marlborough, blenheim, cloudy bay wineryCloudy Bay wine cellar.Our first stop was actually supposed to be Clos Henri, but after getting slightly lost on the way, we discovered it is closed on weekends (it was a Saturday). So we lost about 30 minutes but managed to arrive to Hans Herzog without incident.We tasted a variety of wines — sauvignon blanc is what Marlborough is known for — and ended up buying a bottle of viognier. It was a quick tasting, with not much chatting from the sommelier. He did give us a recommendation of another winery to visit, Cloudy Bay, which ended up being a wonderful tasting experience.new zealand, south island, marlborough, blenheim, cloudy bay wineryEven though it was almost closing time, the sommelier at Cloudy Bay was very engaged and even allowed us to taste a couple extra wines that were not on the set tasting menu (because the bottles already happened to be open). Cloudy Bay’s sauvignon blanc is what put the winery — and Marlborough — on the map (according to her).I don’t remember all the wines we tasted, but I do remember the ones we bought — both at the winery and later, from grocery stores: 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, 2012 Pinot Noir, 2011 Te Koko (reserve sauvignon blanc) and 2011 Te Wahi (reserve pinot noir).new zealand, south island, marlborough, blenheim, cloudy bay wineryWe saved the reserve bottles to bring home for special occasions, but we enjoyed the sauvignon blanc and pinot noir with simple “home-cooked” (in the campervan) dinners during our trip. Nothing like pulling up next a stunning, mountain-framed lake, setting up a table and chairs and enjoying a beautiful glass of wine.From Cloudy Bay we stopped by Moa Brewing Company, Marlborough’s own craft beer brewery. Funny story: During our tasting I was reading some information about the brewery. It said, “Moa is pronounced like the word ‘more.'” And I was like, Huh? How do you get more (emphasis on the R) from moa (mow-ah)? And then it dawned on me: In a New Zealand English accent, an R sound is not pronounced the same as it is in an American English accent. So “more” would be pronounced “moa.” I have told this story numerous times since our return and it always makes me laugh!new zealand, south island, marlborough, blenheim, cloudy bay wineryI unfortunately didn’t take photos at Hans Herzog or Moa — just Cloudy Bay, but Marlborough itself is stunning. Fields of vineyards as far as the eye can see, with tall mountains in the background. It was getting quite cold and very blustery — the sommelier at Cloudy Bay said we were experience “almost gale-force winds” — so we didn’t really spend a lot of time outside.What’s your favorite winery?See more photos from New Zealand’s South Island.

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

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