Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Wairarapa Wine District

The rain and winds followed us over the mountains from Wellington this morning. Aside from this beautiful rainbow, we couldn't see much. We had lunch at Murdoch James Winery about 5 miles south of Martinborough before checking in to our motel. Their vines are green and healthy, and we saw chardonay grapes ready for harvest. Tasted their wines which are minerally because the soil is former seabed - lots of calcium and other minerals. So, they taste uniquely of their "terroir." The riesling was especially good, but a little too fruity for our taste. Pinot noirs are the specialty of this wine area, and not one of our favorites. However, I tasted one in the wine tasting center in town (where we were trapped by a heavy downpour, oh darn!) by Voss which was more to my liking. It is exported to the states, and a favorite of many of the American customers (according to the girl at the tasting bar). So, you might want to look for it - if you are a pinot noir drinker.

Martinborough is a little farm town with some nice small painted Victorian houses and churches. Tomorrow, if the sun comes out, we'll head for Cape Palliser, the southern most spot on the north island. There's some walking trails there and a lighthouse to climb. Only 250 steps.
By the way, we've had "pork belly" twice to eat. Bill ordered it for lunch. It's very tasty pork which appears to be the equivalent of beef short ribs. Does anyone know any different? I had a great beetroot and feta cheese tort. Sounds strange, but a lovely red color and very good. We have had different foods from at home, but none of them have been too strange or exotic. All of the food is fresh and made to order in the cafes and restaurants. Nice change from micro-waved main dishes in some of our places at home.

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