Cycling the Martinborough Vineyards Part 1

I love Martinborough. My cousins grew up here and I have so many wonderful memories of weekends and school holidays spent on the farm. There was always an adventure to be had and this place will always hold a special place in my heart.

Martinborough has changed quite a bit since my childhood days. It’s still a rural country town but it is now also a hot spot for Wellintonians who can just pop over the hill for a weekend escape. With it’s boutique shops, gourmet food and fresh country air, an indulgent weekend weekend away is easy to achieve.

Oh, and they also (according to my husband) make some of the best pinot noir in the country. So while great food and the outdoors is on the agenda, we are here for a weekend of wine.

Martinborough is in the south of the Wairarapa, about an hours drive from Wellington. Or you can take the train which connects with a bus in Featherston. It’s an easy day trip, but if you have the time, I highly recommend coming for a weekend.

It’s a wet dreary day in Wellington, but in less than an hour, we are heading into indigo sky and green pastures. I have booked us a villa at Margrain Vineyard. We have stayed here a couple of times before. The first time, Daniel surprised me with a weekend trip away….

He booked the Pinot Suite. The place was huge! But all I really remember was eating our $20 fish and chips at the 12 seater burl wood table. We decide that next time it would make more sense to book a cheaper room and have more money for spending on wine.

So that’s what we did. I now do all the travel planning and I am much less extravagant. (Although I write this now, smiling to myself, thinking about a post I will be publishing in a couple of weeks time!)

We stay in one of their villas. The place reminds me a bit of Noddy’s town with it’s brown and blue villas with chapel like towers on each of the rooms. It is certainly a distinct looking place. Our room is light, spacious and has a small balcony overlooking green fields. It is very comfortable and perfect for our weekend getaway.

The room rate also includes a daily continential breakfast as well as a selection of teas, coffee and hot chocolate. They have also placed a selection of their wines in our room.

The Pinot Noir is opened straight away!

With a glass of pinot in hand and a map, I settle in to plan out our wine tasting route for tomorrow. You can download the map, pick one up from the information center, or, in our case, there was one in the room. There are over 20 vineyards and it’s a hard choice. Reading through the little blurbs, they all sound great. Some are only open by appointment or in the summer, so that rules out a few, but I still have a good selection to choose from. I figure if we have a decent lunch, I can probably manage about 4 – 5 places before I can no long ride a bike in a straight line.

To be continued.

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