Marlborough produces the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world grown on the stony soils of the Wairau River valley. The flat valley is surrounded by tussock and bush clad mountains and has the braided Wairau river running down its length from the beautiful Rainbow valley to the sea.
It is along the banks of the Wairau river and through the vineyards of the valley that we bike with Explore Marlborough’s Bike the Vines guided biking wine tour.
Starting at the civilised hour of 9.30am we are picked up from our accommodation and are driven further up the valley to where our bikes await. After setting up the bikes, doning helmets and discussing the plan for the day we are off.
The biking is easy and we stop regularly to allow our guide to point out features of the landscape or talk to us about the regions history and geography. The scenery is stunning. From the stopbank we look across the tops of vineyards across a sea of green stretching back towards the mountains.
We ride along the river stop bank for a couple of kilometres before deviating through the large Kaituna Vineyard owned by Brancott Estate and then along a quiet country road up to Seresin Estate. Here we taste a selection of sensational organic and biodynamic wines before biking through their property to Grove Mill winery. After tasting their wines we rest up and sit down outside in the sun and enjoy some morning tea, a coffee and some home baking.
Re-energised we hit the road again for a slightly downhill cruise back down the valley to the Wairau River winery restaurant for lunch.
The afternoon is spent at Nautilus where Brett the winemaker takes us on a tour of the winery. With a wine glass in hand we sample Sauvignon Blanc direct from the tank and a range of Pinot Noir direct from the oak barrels. Brett is obviously passionate about what he does and enthusiastically imparts his knowledge.
The day has been a perfect mix of scenery, sunshine, exercise, good food, great wine and great company.
What a way to wine tour.