Picton, New Zealand
The Wines of Marlborough: In Partnership with FOOD & WINE Magazine
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Approximately 4½ Hours
Marlborough is known as New Zealand's gourmet province, and is the nation's leading producer of fine wines, garlic, olives, cherries, salmon and mussels. Today, you will see the best of what this sunny region has to offer.
From Picton, travel through the rich farmlands of the Koromiko Valley to Blenheim -- the main town of the Marlborough province.
Your first stop is at Allan Scott Family Winemakers. Few can lay claim to having worked every grape harvest in Marlborough, but owner Allan Scott can. He is one of the true pioneers and a name synonymous with this acclaimed region, having planted Marlborough's first vineyard in 1973. The pretty winery is surrounded by 197 acres of premium vineyards. It produces a full range of wines especially suited to Marlborough's gravelly soil and sunny climate including Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Methode Traditionelle and Pinot Noir.
Next, visit Spy Valley Wines, named for its proximity to an international satellite communications monitoring station in the Waihopai Valley -- in other words, a spy base! With no connection whatsoever to the world of international espionage, Spy Valley's wine has commanded global attention -- critics say it is 'impossible to ignore' and the company is among 'the planet's 20 most notable new producers'.
Finally, visit Forrest Estate Winery nestled in among the vineyards just outside the town of Renwick. The Forrest family has lived in the Marlborough region since the first settlers came in the 1840s, and they are passionate about their wine. They will be happy to share their knowledge as you sample some of their award-winning varietals. Return to Picton via Spring Creek and Tuamarina.
The wineries visited may vary. Minimum age is 18 years. To participate in the wine tasting portion of this tour you must be of legal age and accompanied by an adult age 21 or older. Corkage policy: Wine purchased on this tour is exempt from the on-board corkage fee (offer limited to one bottle of wine per person).