Despite the sunshine, and the occasional passing train, we slept in until about 9.30am at the campsite in Picton. After breakfast, Brigid tried again to call John and Helen Crowder, but got the same recorded message.
We stopped in town to pick up e-mail and sent the Crowders an e-mail saying that we would be in their neighbourhood for a couple of days before travelling south to Queenstown and Milford Sound. Meanwhile, we were going to spend a little time visiting the wineries of the Marlborough region.
Cloudy Bay wines enjoy a cult statues in the UK. We were lucky enough to be able to share a case of Sauvignon with a colleague a couple of years ago, but since then, have found the wines only in restaurants. We were keen to visit the vineyard – perhaps even send a case home!
Sure enough,both the Sauvignon and the Chardonnay were a fraction of the price at home, but the winery would not ship a single case. The local woman who appeared to have cornered the market for private orders, was charging an outrageous price, which sadly made the whole deal uneconomical. Instead, we contented ourselves with a couple of bottles for ‘immediate’ consumption. John found and article about the region, suggesting that Selak Winery was worth a visit. The Estate is principally known for its Nobillo wines, but the Selak is just as good, and half the price.
We soon began to feel hungry and, remembering the excellent lunch we had at Clearview in Hawkes Bay, we sought out a winery with a similar restaurant arrangement. Wairau River Estate was perfect. We gorged ourselves on a delicious chicken and tarragon pie, then hit the pudding menu …
Later, several miles down the coastal road to Kekerengu, we suddenly felt the overwhelming need to pull over and zzzzzzzzzzzzzz!
We arrived in Kaikoura around 7.15pm and ‘dined in’.
(A footnote re Cloudy Bay wines: later in our travels we came across two New Zealand viticulture students who informed us that Oyster Bay wines are the more sought after wines at home.)