Enjoying the Icons of Marlborough

The beauty of Marlborough lies not just in the blue water Sounds , the green bush or the vast rows of vines across the plains, but in its variety.

A platter of fresh seafood on the table, a crisp glass of Marlborough’s best Sauvignon Blanc in hand and all of this while gliding through the pristine waters of the Marlborough Sounds; life surely doesn’t get much better.

The beauty of Marlborough lies not just in the Sounds of blue water and deep green bush or the pretty rows of vines across the sweeping plains, but in its variety.

There’s no need to rush things here; like a good wine, good things take time. But if you do it right, it takes a mere few hours, a single day, to be able to enjoy a smorgasbord of scenery, fresh local foods and wines at a leisurely, relaxed pace.

One way to indulge in only the very best Marlborough has to offer, in a small timeframe, is to jump into a luxury van on a small, personal full-day tour and leave it to the friendly, knowledgeable local guide to take you there.

The Marlborough Icons Tour is designed to sample a taste of every treasure in this region, in the best way possible. A wealth of local knowledge and close relationships with the Marlborough wine industry means access to a delightful mix of both boutique and the larger iconic wineries. Marlborough Icons guides live and breathe Marlborough: Just sit back, relax and enjoy.

Each tour dedicates its morning to the wineries, where an exquisite range of reserve-grade wines are on offer and served along with the stories and history behind them, from those who know it best. These are people whose passion and knowledge for wine runs deep, and it’s something they love to share.

Back on the road, the scenic trips between wineries are a chance to take in the beauty of the Wairau Hills, framed by rugged mountains on one side and, by contrast, rolling hills on the other.  The routes travel between row upon row of the very source of Marlborough’s famed Sauvignon Blanc and other varieties.

Once the last winery is visited, the road leaves sweeping plains behind for the deep valleys of the Marlborough Sounds and the tour heads towards the source of another of the region’s iconic products, seafood.

There is no better way to enjoy this quality, locally grown goodness, freshly harvested from the Sounds’ pristine waterways, than to head out on a seafood cruise.

Firstly, grab a seaside lunch, with spectacular views before boarding the spacious, comfortable launch. Don’t fill up too much at lunch; during the cruise, a feast of fresh, local seafood is unveiled, not only on deck but also below.

The boat visits a salmon, oyster or mussel farm for an insight on how and where these products are grown in the Marlborough Sounds.

There is plenty of time for questions and discussion in between tastes of the freshly prepared seafood, served with a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. In between treating your tastebuds, don’t forget to drink in the views which glide past of sea, bush, the fascinating local birdlife, seals and perhaps even some dolphins.

As the boat glides back into port, there is nothing left to do but once again board the comfortable van for the return trip, while reflecting on a perfect Marlborough day.

The Marlborough Icons Tour is also available as a half-day or full-day Link Transfer tour to Nelson. Pickup is in Blenheim or Picton.

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