Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Two Year Anniversary of living in New Zealand

This is my much belated post about our trip to Lake Ferry and Cape Palliser. For our two-year anniversary of moving to New Zealand, I wanted to take a road trip to somewhere we hadn't been before. When I talked to Loren about where we might want to go, he told me to surprise him, which just made it more fun to plan.

Our route took us through Martinborough, so of course we stopped there for lunch and to check out some wineries we hadn't been to yet. It was the end of harvest season and the leaves on the grape vines were turning yellow.

One of our stops was a little family run winery called The Cabbage Tree. Often the tiniest operations make for to the most memorable winery visits. The elderly lady pouring our wine was also co-owner with her husband. After we bought a bottle each of their '04 pinot noir and their rose, she asked if we'd like a tour of their facilities. Turned out the converted barn we were in housed their entire operation, from tasting room to cellar. She lifted the lid off steel barrels so we could get a peek at their bright red merlot and watch her stir it with a huge red-stained wooden paddle. We saw their de-stemmer in action (a metal machine that pulls the stems off harvested grapes). Then we got to put our ears up to the hole in the top of a barrel of chardonnay, so we could hear the hiss of the juice fermenting. Our next stop was Murdoch James, where we got a real surprise when we tasted a syrah that we actually liked. Harvest was under way there as well, so after we bought a bottle of syrah, we got a look at their grapes and they let us taste fresh syrah and a pinot gris grapes. Here's Loren with the syrah grapes:

Loren and the Syrah grapes - murdoch james

And crates of pinot gris:

pino gris grapes

Our accommodation was a tiny cabin just outside of Lake Ferry. Lake Ferry is a tiny village situated next to Lake Onoke and Palliser Bay. After settling into our cabin we took a walk along the beach at Lake Ferry. The beach is composed of tiny black pebbles, and it goes on for ages. The lake is brackish; a narrow strip of beach separates it from the ocean, and a break in this strip allows water to flow between lake and ocean. There were a few brave surfers out there. We had already been warned against swimming; the currents can be treacherous and there's nothing else out there between that particular strip of coast and Antarctica.

palliser bay meets onoke lake 2

Where Lake Onoke meets Palliser Bay

We had pasta from Wishbone for dinner, and opened the rose from Cabbage Tree to go with it.

(this post is getting long. I'll do Day Two later)

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