You’ve probably been wondering where I’ve been – is she still drinking wine? did she win Tattslotto and disappear to an island?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
- Dog Point Vineyard
- Forrest Wines
- The Darling wines
- Spy Valley
- St.Clair family estate
- Fromm winery
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.
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.
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.
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,