At 9.00am nine of us made our way over the ridge of the Queen Charlotte Track to Victoria Bay by various means to be picked up by a water taxi to take us to Picton, where a minibus would collect us and take us on a wine tasting tour.
By 10.30 we were downing small samples of wine at our first winery – Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and some others. Individually, the samples were not very much but collectively they added up to be quite a lot. At 11.00 we were in our second winery going through the whole process again. Whilst I appreciated they all tasted different I would not have been able to tell which was which without being told. The descriptions used by our hosts were quite farcical. How many ways can you describe a glass of wine? I don’t think my taste buds are working properly because I completely missed the hints of this and the subtlety of that.
Before lunch we were at our third winery and at it all over again. To make matters worse we were having lunch in the restaurant and this third venue where we drank two bottles of champagne, a bottle of white and sampled a dessert wine. The white and the dessert were presents to Kelly who had designed the labels and they had just received 5* accolades for all aspects of the wine including the labelling.
By this time I had had enough wine and sat out the next two wineries. My wine stamina had failed. I don’t know how the others could keep it going so long, including Angela. I perked up with our last visit to a chocolate factory, but they were very mean with their samples.
On the water taxi back to Victoria Bay, everybody was looking a little jaded but we were nopt back in our luxurious baches for long and we soon perked up over an excellent roast and a few more glasses of wine.
Had a great day on The Wine Tour of Marlborough………now one of the finest wine producing areas in the world. A Scotsman, back in the 1880s was the first to plant vines. He was not a typical whiskey swigging Scot, having gained a taste for wine in France. I enjoyed the tasting but also learning about all the different techniques used to get the best crop; any thing from frost windmills to planting at the time of the full moon. Fascinating.
We spent the evening at Ben and Kelly’s rented house, they cooked a delicious roast and we left fairly early because we are off at 7 in the morning. Saying goodbye was an emotional moment, its hard leaving them on the other side of the world again. However I comfort myself with the knowledge that they will be blissfully happy together and make the right decisions in the future.