Day 2 of our adventures on the South Island was spent visiting some awesome wineries and exploring the area of Nelson. Blenheim, the town where we spent our first night on the South Island, is the hub of the Marlborough wine industry. While Marlborough is most famous for its superb Sauv Blanc’s, there are also many other excellent wines produced in this region.
We were so thoroughly charmed by our first winery experience that day, Spy Valley, that all the rest of the wineries we visited seemed to pale in comparison. The woman who ran the cellar door was phenomenal, and the wines tasted were just exquisite.
We were even invited to taste the remaining grapes on the vines, which were amazing… almost blueberry-like, and oh so very sweet. The sunshine on this beautiful autumn day highlighting the golden leaves in the vineyards, combined with the dark Southern Alps in the distance, made for a gorgeous backdrop for some photos. The time of our visit was ideal to catch a glimpse of the excitement of harvest and the beauty that the change of season entails.
Wither Hills’ exquisite estate was perhaps one of the most elaborate of all the vineyards we visited. The building had a very modern feel to it, but still very elegant with the vines sweeping over the front of the building. The bean bag chairs out on the front lawn were a big hit with the boys.
While the highlight of Nelson was not its shopping scene, it did have some lovely places to hang out by the water, a fabulous Indian restaurant called the Indian Cafe, which was recommended to us by the awesome manager of Custom House hostel, where we stayed.
Overall impressions of the South Island were that it exhibited grandeur on a larger scale than its Northern counterpart, however, the cooler temperatures we experienced down South made us thankful to be heading back the more temperate and balmy climate of the North Island.