Monday, November 16, 2009

Week 46: wine and fun in the sun

Last weekend, armed with my new polariser and visitors from Wellington, we set off on 'our' wine tour. We always used to take visitors to these vineyards when we lived here previously, and nothing much has changed. Chard Farm still has a lazy idyllic feel to it and rests perfectly under the Otago sun.

They do some bubbles now - named CO2 (as in Central Otago as well as the obvious) to commemorate their 21st birthday. Made from their pinot noir and chardonnay 2005 vintages, they are very tasty, so we bought some to take home, along with a bottle of the fruity, spicy, minerally pinot gris.

The one new addition is Lola, a sculpture made by Lee van der Geest from old chardonnay vines. She was commissioned to celebrate the inaugural Tour de Wakatipu bike race earlier this year. The mountain bike race winds through some wonderful scenery and finishes at the winery - having done a similar thing (but on a road bike) a couple of times around the Marlborough vineyads, I can imagine no better spot to finish a long day in the saddle.

We were too late for lunch at Gibbston Valley but we got a wine tasting tray and a cheese platter and happily sat in the sun nattering and matching our cheese and wines.

At Peregrine we enjoyed chatting with the young lady behind the counter - who had a curious mixture of a Kiwi/Irish accent - about who made the best chocolate. No such debates about the wine; we bought a couple of bottles of Karearea Pinot Noir.

Petra loved the purpose-built stage in the shape of a bird's wing where fashion shows and events are held. She pranced about doing her best Patsy Stone impersonation (which is frighteningly good). I admired the dilapidated farm buildings and the old wine-making paraphenalia. Something for everyone, then!

This photo is cheating slightly as I didn't take it. Him Outdoors bounded out of bed one sunrise telling me the sky was very pretty. I told him I was sure it was, but he knows I don't do mornings, so he took a picture as proof. He's right; that's almost worth getting out of bed for.

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