It's all about gourmet wining and dining on this exceptional excursion to three wineries to sample their finest vintages and savor a delectable two-course luncheon.
It's a 30-minute drive south from the pier to nearby Blenheim, the largest city in the Marlborough wine-producing region. Hailed as the ""Gourmet Province of New Zealand,"" Marlborough boasts ideal conditions for growing grapes: a distinguished terrain and a cool maritime climate. The region is also extraordinarily beautiful.
Your first stop will be Cloudy Bay, a winery that instantly captured the industry's attention with the release of its first Sauvignon Blanc in 1985. Powerful yet elegant, this intensely fruity wine is Cloudy Bay's signature product, but certainly not its only outstanding wine as you'll discover by touring the property and sampling other vintages.
Next, it's on to nearby Wither Hills for your second tasting experience. This charming winery was aptly named for the ranges that form the vineyard's scenic backdrop. Established in 1994, architecturally stunning Wither Hills produces vibrant-flavored, heady aromatics, including an award-winning Sauvignon Blanc, and an elegant Pinot Noir showing bright cherry spice notes.
Continuing on, your final visit will be at Brancott Estates, the first winery to plant Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough, the first in the southern hemisphere with a Coquard Champagne press, and the world's first to install revolutionary grape tipper tanks. In this leading-edge winery, you'll enjoy a tutored wine tasting of its Sauvignon Blanc, followed by a two-course wine and food-matched luncheon. It's an immensely satisfying experience and a fine prelude to the return drive to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2.5 hours of easy to moderate walking/standing. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Guests must be at least 21 years of age to participate in the tastings of any alcoholic beverages. In the event of scheduling conflicts, it may become necessary to substitute a winery with another of similar quality. The sequence of the tour may vary.