there was a buffet for a luncheon meal but they were serving a curry -having asked about food allergies the server had already made arrangements for us to have fish and chips- which was very nice of them to do.
the ferry left dreary (does the sun ever shine there?) Wellington and crossed the straights to the south island toward Picton. Immediately upon reaching open water the sun began to shine and did so for the entire time we were in wine country. The crossing takes several hours and you can see on the map that the ferry goes quite far in the sounds to the town of Picton. We were joined on the ferry by numerous cars and the train which loads it's train cars onto the ferry and then starts off again on the south island with a new locomotive. Among the train cars we had some carrying sheep!
after arriving in Picton I went to collect the luggage while Phil went to the rental car counter. We got the car and headed off to Blenheim where we would be staying for our next few days of winery touring in the Marlborough wine region.
the water was a gorgeous color of turquoise!
our hotel room was comfortable and sunny- and the laundry was right across the hall which is super for us since we still have Sydney to go and the Wellington hotel did not have a guest laundry-
we made a plan for dinner and also started reviewing maps and Parker articles etc. to plan our wine touring for the next two days.
we ended up around the corner at a place easy to find and walk to - the wine from dinner and the seafood wellington we both ordered...
even though we didn't do that much we were tired from the logistics of from and to and driving on the "other" side... finding our own way without Mike and a driver - LOL - so we called it a day and started fresh the next morning.
we made our first stop at St. Clair (upper right hand on the map) and then went on from there- I don't need to say much as the wine labels will give you the names of where we went- and lunch was at the Wairau River (left hand edge of map) winery. On the way back across town we found a cherry stand for Phil to indulge in cherries in the middle of our winter!
the only wine we actually bought in the tasting during the two days - was at Cloudy Bay- one that is not exported and you will see it later as we took it to a BYO place later... but back to the day one touring-
we had the prawns and the burger for lunch- along with the bread and dukkah as a starter - dukkah being a spread for the bread...
our wine tasting for the north of Blenheim day finished we bought cherries and headed back into town - having been to six wineries- a respectable effort-
we headed across town for dinner at the Hotel D'Urville and had a fabulous meal there- along with the St Clair Doctor's Creek - Block 14 as our wine...
cloudy bay clam soup with lemon and fennel
roquefort mousse with mulled wine gelee and walnut salad
venison carpaccio with balsamic creme
our entrees: beef and lamb:
then desserts- we had one of each of the ones I have cropped the menu around - they are shown in opposite order below-
here is the fabulous chef!
we walked home through the park where the trees were decorated for the holiday and the fountain went through numerous color changes:
so ends our first day of wine touring in Marlborough! lots of good wine and an excellent evening meal!