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Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
Wine tour operator, wine writer and lapsed physiotherapist. "Nature abhors a vacuum. I personally hate dusting."


Friday, June 24, 2011

Marlborough Wine Region - a quick visit

A few weeks back I took a quick  trip to Marlborough to catch up with family.  Mainly my step-Dad who lives in Blenheim, and his extended family.

We stayed at the D’Urville Hotel – a quirky boutique hotel with fab restaurant in the centre of Blenheim town.   We were randomly allotted The Rajah Suite which was kind of Indian themed, with intricately carved and painted wood panelling, brassy things and general Bollywood décor.  All pretty cool, but the entrance to our ensuite was a wooden doorway carved thingy more suited to your average Hobbit than a 6ft 1” 54-year-old wine writer.  I stooped and banged my head on the lintel many times.  Otherwise – very nice.  Crisp linen, wireless Internet, and acres of white towels.  The other suites looked reaaally cool – Polynesian and Cuban themed.

We had one free day so checked out a few of my favourite wineries:

Domaine Georges Michel - 6 Vintage Lane
A slice of France in the heart of Marlborough - Georges Michel and his wife Huguette acquired the vineyard in 1997 and have made their Gallic mark on the region.  We had a great light lunch there – rich and hearty venison ragout with crusty bread.

Standout wines: Legend Pinot Noir 2009 $48  Golden Mile Chardonnay 2008 $15

Framingham Wine Company
Conders Bend Road
The vineyards date back to the early 1980’s making them some of the oldest vineyards in the region. Riesling is their flagship wine, with other whites, Pinot Noir and the Italian variety Montepulciano completing the line-up.

Standout wines: Gewurtztraminer 2009 $28  Classic Riesling 2009 $25

Grove Mill Winery
Waihopai Valley Rd
Eco-friendly Grove Mill is a corporate owned winery, which is situated in the Waihopai Valley.  Their philosophy is to produce high quality wines with minimal environmental impact. The company mascot is the Southern Bell Frog, which lives in the winery wetland. 

Standout wines:  Grand Reserve Riesling 2009 $27 Grand Reserve Pinot Noir 2009 $43

Phil's wine tours are "The best visitor attraction in Auckland" according to TripAdvisor

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