Monday, June 27, 2011

Running away for the weekend... was fab! MrC and I shot off after work on Friday night to the little town of Martinborough, which is about an hour out of Wellington in 'wine country.' Laid out like a Union Jack with a square in the middle, Martinborough is charming, full of gorgeous weekend houses for rent, cosy restaurants, and there are easily 40 wineries within a 10km radius making some of the finest wines in the world.

Aethena House, which is only 50m from the square, utterly gorgeous inside and out (thanks to my clever cousin Lynley's efforts about 10 years ago before she sold it on) and the perfect retreat for two townies needing a rest cure. :) It has four bedrooms and we think it may be a nice place to take a group of friends next time!
ANYWAY, on Saturday after a leisurely brunch on the back lawn, we hit the wine trail. Each time we go, we look for small wineries where we can talk to the winemakers. I love their passion for their product, all the words that dance around with them.
First stop, Coney Wines on Dry River Road. Forgot to take photos. Duh. We bought a Que Sera Syrah and a Ritz Reisling or two. Coney wines all come with tongue in cheek musical names and silly lymerics. The wine in the bottles however is pretty darn fabulous. The syrah is a 
peppery, berry flavoured riot with vetiver overtones that really did inspire lyrical outpourings! The Ritz Riesling spritzes on the tongue and has a light fruity palate that I love. Reminds me of the zibibbo we had for our wedding toasts. Incidentally they gave us a mini bottle of a rose called "Pink Floyd's wet dream"!
Next was Schuberts, much closer to town and run with German passion and hand crafted care. Nice wines, very expensive ($65 a bottle for the one I liked best!) we surprised ourselves by coming away with a cab/merlot blend and a sticky called Dolce made from Muller Thurgau. It was like apricot and honey heaven on the tongue and I HAD to have it. The cab/merlot just kept on giving and conjuring up music in my head so we got it too.
Last was Croft Winery, a "must stop at, every time" winery on the main road into town. I love the place - May Croft is the warm hearted Anglican Archdeacon for South Wairarapa and her husband Peter is a wonderful winemaker with an artist's passion and a scientist's precision. He does this thing where as you take a mouthful of his wine he tells you what he wanted it to do to your palate, and by jingo, it happens. Such precision, such artistry. And May makes amazing pastes from the grapes, most recently a sauvignon blanc paste that we enjoyed immensely on crackers with cheese for afternoon tea. Lovely people whose love of life comes through in their products.
All that wine talk must be boring some of you, sorry! On Sunday we went craft shopping. There are several shops selling all sorts in Martinborough, and I bought a 1972 Golden Hands album full of delightful ideas and projects that took me back to my childhood. In the window she had a selection of those necklaces made from fabric, but with beads in between:
A nice combination of textures and patterns in these necklaces...
And then home. Via Sawmillers Quiltery where I picked up cupcake buttons and a couple of fat quarter packs.
Well, how could I resist!

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