My application is in. I'd officially like to become the new advertising campaign icon for the Marlborough wine region. Forget the Marlboro Man. Instead of a 10 gallon hat-wearing cowboy with a cigarette hanging from his mouth picture me with a glass full of light golden Sauvignon Blanc in one hand and an umbrella in the other.
Crossing over from the North Island to the South this week, I felt like a wide-eyed immigrant approaching Ellis Island. The difference in the look and feel of the environment had "A Whole New World" from Aladdin ringing in my head. I could not believe what a three hour ferry ride produced. Notably rain pouring from the sky for three days. Something the terribly drought-stricken North Island or I haven't seen in a long time! So my duck and cover entrance was in full swing as I tasted my way through the final leg of the Classic Wine Trail- the world famous Marlborough region that put New Zealand on the wine map.
Practicing safe sipping, I again spent an afternoon on a thorough wine tour with a group of Aussies, English, and Scottish. It was an education learning about the rapid growth and the expanding varietals of this area. I am even shocked by how much my senses of taste and smell have improved in distinguishing nuances in what I was drinking. I need to add that to my application.
But alas the days on the wine trail have had to come to an end. Luckily, like a good Sauvignon Blanc, I had an elegant and refreshing finish to the trail exploration. San Diego friends, Jen and Mike, met up with me at one of their ports on a NZ cruise. The afternoon was spent nibbling cheese and crackers we picked up from local Barrys Bay Cheese Factory, sipping a range of wines at chateau-style winery French Farm, overlooking secluded and still Akaroa Harbor. For this, in addition to braving my NZ driving skills (yikes), I thank Jen and Mike for sharing a great New Zealand day and memory with me.
Now, on to the next frontier! With my glass and umbrella in hand.
Marlborough vineyards under a dark sky
Fragrant, rain-covered roses
Terraced vineyards at Yealands Estate
Marlborough wineries known for Sauvignon Blanc