After four beautiful days in Queenstown, it was time depart for the famous Marlborough region known for its luscious Sauvignon Blanc. An overnight stay brought appreciation for the terrible devastation in the city of Christchurch from a severe earthquake in February 2011. The ghost-like city has such a long way to go to be a viable center for businesses. On the way to Blenheim, we took a lunch stop to visit a couple wineries in the Waipara Valley. We chatted with Paul Hewett, winemaker for Bishops Head, while tasting his Pinot Noir and dry Chenin Blanc. His wines were a highlight of the trip and, nestled in my suitcase, made the trip back to Sonoma’s wine country to be enjoyed another time.
We arrived in Blenheim just in time for our tour and tasting at Hans Herzog. This is definitely a love project of Hans, a native of Switzerland. The boutique estate and restaurant are widely acclaimed as one of the best in New Zealand. Hans has adopted an experimentalist stance, cultivating an eclectic array of varieties, including Montepulciano, Arneis, Barbera, Gewurztraminer, Semillon, Tempranillo and Zweigelt – as well as the more traditional Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay. We enjoyed a glass of wine on the patio while waiting to be seated for an exquisite dinner at the prestigious Michelin Star restaurant.
There is lots more to share about our wonderful time in Marlborough and all the great wines we found. Part 3 is coming soon.