Monday, March 3, 2008

Alexandra Wineries and Countryside

The Central Otago is not only known for its pinot noir, it is also a huge fruit growing area. We bought fresh peaches, pears, green gage plums. cherries, and apricots at a roadside fruit company. They are lush and sweet. The flavors are so different from those you buy in a grocery store. Our hostess serves a whole platter of cut fresh fruit for breakfast every morning. There are also fresh local cheeses. It's not a bad way to live!

Bill did a "walkie" around the property this morning while I worked on the computer. Rocky Range consists of 100 acres of lovely raw property, not much grass, lots of wild thyme, bees, and lavendar. The views are magnificent. Late in the morning we headed for Black Ridge winery the southermost winery/vineyard in the world. We ate a picnic lunch by Lake Dunston between Cromwell and Alexandra. It's a power lake, turquoise in color, and surrounded by steep barren mountain slopes. The countryside looks like the Colorado mountains.

After lunch, we drove on into Cromwell to visit Wooing Tree winery owned by friends of our new friends in France, Sue and Micaela (where we stayed in the Loire Valley in October.) Steve was expecting us and shared a glass of his award winning pinot noir. He is looking for a US importer, so I took his card to share with Neil and his friend Rob who works for Country Vintners. Wooing Tree is on the floor of the valley and is fast producing some of the best wines in the country. We then, drove up to Mount Difficulty for some of the most beautiful views of valley and mountains in the area.

Dinner back at Monteith's restaurant in Alexandra. They have wonderful warm lamb salads. Delicious.

Tomorrow we fly from Queenstown to Christchurh.

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