NZ: from Central Otago to Martinborough
Finished my Central Otago leg with two great appointments: Peregrine (top image) and Gibbston Valley. Peregrine's 2008 Pinots are brilliantly fresh and elegant, with lovely poise. Gibbston are making great wines across the board, and Chris Keys, the young winemaker here seems on top form. The 2009 Pinots will be something worth waiting for if the barrel samples are anything to go by.
Then it was off to Wellington via Christchurch. Internal flying in New Zealand is as painless as flying can be. It's just so low stress; I guess the whole country is pretty low stress.
I picked up a hire car and drove to Martinborough, a 90-minute journey that gets winding and pretty in places. Wellington is a bigger city than I'd realized.
I'm staying for one night at Peppers Martinborough Hotel, a beautiful period-style hotel that has been beautifully restored. I managed to get here in time to get a feed in the bar, while watching Murray's semi on the big screen. The food was fantastic: a beautiful belly pork on a bed of asian slaw, washed down with a couple of Emersons (the red wines were at room temperature, which was about 25 C, which put me off).
Now for some winery visits. Dry River first, then Ata Rangi, then Martinborough, then Gladstone, then a long-ish drive to Napier for the Syrah Symposium.