Tag Archives: Wine trip

Marlborough Wine and Food Festival – a tick off the bucket list

You’ve probably been wondering where I’ve been – is she still drinking wine? did she win Tattslotto and disappear to an island?

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Did she really win tattslotto??

The answer to that is yes, I most certainly have been drinking wine. While I didn’t win Tattslotto, I did disappear to an island…an island called New Zealand.

It happened. After two years in the waiting, I finally attended the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival with my fellow wino friend, who is a massive fan of the Sauvignon Blanc. But not just any Ol Sauvignon Blanc fan, she’s a fan of the Sauvignon Blanc hailing from the Marlborough region.

 

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Ready for some great Savvy B!

Marlborough is THE home of the Sauvignon Blanc, due to producing the most notable wine from this grape. It’s quite a young region, with the grape variety only being introduced to the area in the 1970’s. The first Sauvignon Blanc vines were planted by Montana Wines, now know as Brancott Estate. So what better place to celebrate the Savvy B than at the estate itself, which was where the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival was held.

To get to Brancott Estate we travelled by bus from Blenhim, which was only about a 15 minute trip from the town centre. As soon as we got the the estate, we waited in line and watched the crowds roll in bus after bus. You could feel the excitement building.

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The start of the day. The crowds just got bigger!

As soon as we got in, we scanned the area looking for wineries that we knew, and wineries that we didn’t know, to add to the shortlist of ones to try. The tastings were setup where you could pay $3 for a few sips, or you could outlay $8-$10 for a full glass. This was a no brainer, pour me a full glass please!

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One of the first wineries, Cloudy Bay – Yes, it was a full glass 🙂

Following our first couple of sips (glasses) at Cloudy Bay and Giesen, we wandered over to the wine Masterclass where a Rosé and cheese matching class was about to get underway, with hosts Brian from Mahi wines, and Dan from Kaikoura Cheese.
Grabbing our seats we sat in front of a selection of 7 Rosés from select Marlborough wineries, along with 7 carefully selected cheeses to match. It was really interesting to try something that wasn’t Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region. An enjoyable spread of Rosé’s, which were very much like the classic French Rosé’s from the South of France –  light in colour, strawberry flavours, and a dry finish. Turns out the cool climate for growing this variety of wine is quite similar to the home of Rosé, France.

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The before shot

The clear favourite for me was from Mahi Pinot Noir 2016 Rosé, paired perfectly with a pecorino cheese with fennel pods. The Mahi Pinot Noir 2016 Rosé was a classic Rosé, with a medium to dry finish, with pronounced strawberry notes.

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Brian from Mahi wines! A brilliant winery, and a brilliant wine maker!

Following the Rosé Masterclass, we stumbled back out on to the grassed area to try even MORE wine! With so many wineries showcasing many different wines, here’s a list of the places we tried which were all standouts!

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Roaming water stations. How good is this?! Australia – take note.

In between the sips (glasses) of wine there was also an abundance of food on offer, from pork belly rolls, oysters, through to baked potatoes. I opted for a Brazilian burger. Delish! This provided some much needed energy after many wine tastings.

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Fuel for the Savvy B

As the day went on, the crowd became livelier, the band got louder, and the dance moves became smoother.  Some were even feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of wineries on site.

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When the day becomes too much a nap is needed!

As the day came to a close, it was time to make way to the busses to get bussed back in to town, where the party continued on at Scotch Wine Bar, in downtown Blenhim.

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The after party location!

So that’s it, I can now finally tick the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival off the bucket list. If you’re planning to make a trip over to the region, I’d recommend planning it around the festival. It will give you a real taste of the region, and will certainly get you in to the spirit of being in the world famous home of the Savvy B!

Until next time winos,
Cheers!

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Hop yourself to Nagambie over the Easter long weekend for some great wine!

The Easter long weekend is approaching! If you haven’t planned what you’re going to do, here’s one suggestion – a trip up to the Nagambie wine region. I did this little round trip last Easter, and only takes an afternoon. Being autumn, it’s the perfect time of the year to taste and stock up on some great reds, ports and fortified’s in preparation for winter.

 

First stop – Mitchelton Winery

Welcome

Welcome

This winery is about an hour and a half’s drive from Melbourne up the Hume Highway. Driving up the driveway, you will instantly notice the ‘legendary tower’ peaking up above the winery. This tower was designed by architect Ted Ashton in 1974, and has a great lookout at the top across the vineyard. Don’t worry there is a lift up to the top, which is very handy after you’ve completed your wine tastings.

The legendary tower!

The legendary tower!

View from the top

View from the top

 

With a variety of wine on offer, and at many different price points, you will be sure to find a wine that suits you.

 

Tip the Bottle’s top picks:

 

2012 Mitchelton Marsanne

2010 Heathcote Shiraz

2012 Mitchelton Shiraz

2012 The Blend – Cabernet Merlot

 

Got me some wine!

Got me some wine!

Winery lyf

Winery lyf

 

Second stop – Tahbilk

If you ever want to go to a historic vineyard, this is the one to go to. Established back in 1860, the vineyard was taken over by the Pulbrick family in 1925, and has been in the family ever since.

Historic buildings

Historic buildings

On arrival, when driving up the driveway, one of the first things you will see is the old vineyard. It’s enough to get your taste buds excited. Once you hop out of the car, take your time to wander throughout the cellar door, and take in all of the history on offer. See the many bottles of Marsanne dating back years (I can’t remember how many exactly, but there was a lot), and the change in colour as it has aged. Wander down below the tasting area to the old underground cellar and see barrels as old as 100 years!

 

Even Prince Phillip has visited Tabhilk!

Even Prince Philip has visited Tabhilk!

So much wine to taste!

So much wine to taste!

YES!!

YES!!

Once you’ve worked your way through your tastings, wander over to the café, take a seat and relax beside the billabong. I recommend the meat and cheese platter, along with your favourite glass of Tahbilk wine. I can guarantee you will find yourself saying ‘ahh..this is the life’.

 

While you’re there, sign yourself up to their wine club and get yourself some great discounts.

 

 

 

 

Tip the Bottle’s Top picks

2008 Old Block Shiraz

2013 Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre

Grand Tawny

Stocking up

Stocking up

If I don’t speak to you again until Easter, I hope you have a very happy and safe Easter break with some great wine and many chocolate easter eggs.

If you have any fab round trips that you’ve done, please share! I’d love to hear.

 

Until next time winos,

Cheers

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