You can’t exactly travel the South Island of New Zealand without stopping at a few vineyards, so that’s exactly what we did.
First off we started with 3 vineyards in Malborough, land of the best Sauvignon Blanc. We went to Cloudy Bay, Allan Scott & Nautilus. We had tastings at everyone but ended up buying a Savignon Blanc called ‘The Joshua’ from Allan Scott which happened to be their in store special at the time! Delicious.
Further to the South we visited 2 vineyards in the Waipara Hills. First was Black Estate which was located up on a hill with a beautiful view, the other was a place my grandma had her 60th called Waipara Springs. Both were nice but Waipara Springs came in ahead with a beautiful Riesling and a Chardonnay I could have died for…. so we brought both.
Later in our travels we visited Gibbston Valley and it was by far the best vineyard we visited. The service was spot on and there wasn’t a wine tasted that I didn’t enjoy. Our Sommelier (wine steward) was your typical South Island boy who talked through his teeth and dressed smart but yet casual. He was so knowledgeable about everything to do with Gibson Valley and shared many interesting facts right down to the date and day the grapes from the wine you were tasting were picked. Between us we did 1 wine tasting which consisted of 6 different wines. Each and every wine in it’s own unique way was absolutely delicious. We ended up purchasing a Pinot Noir and 2 bottles of their dry Riesling which isn’t like me because I usually hate red and sweet wines which both of those are.
Visiting so many vineyards and hearing every wine makers story has definitely broadened my knowledge on wine and wine making. This has also helped with developing a palette for different wines as well is identifying the difference in the first place.
If you ever visit NZ I highly recommend, even if you really just want to drink a whole heap of wine in small portions!