Small town is usually synonymous with “not a lot to do”. And when there’s not a lot to do…what do you do? The answer is drink.
That’s probably why the same people show up at the bar I work at night after night and get pissed (that’s Kiwi for drunk), but that’s a different story. This right here is my drinking story. Now I’m not drinking in Blenheim because there’s nothing else to do. After all, I’ve only lived here a few weeks. There is still plenty of untouched territory that needs to be explored. I drink because, well, I like it, and because if I’m living in a town with 60+ wineries, I feel it is my duty to visit each winery and do a proper wine tasting.
So here is a perfect, boozy day in Blenheim:
Wake up and head to Ritual for brekkie. Preferably Sticky Muesli or Huevos Rancheros. Wash it down with a Flat White.
Hop on bikes and cruise the country roads. (Don’t forget sunscreen & H2O)
Make a pit stop at the chocolate factory for a chocolate tasting. Since it’s a boozy day, opt for the champagne truffles.
Life is uncertain, eat dessert first.
Arrive at Saint Clair Winery. Enjoy lunch in the garden, complete with vine surroundings and mountain backdrops. Order the Inspiration from the Garden, fresh and delicious. Pay $7 to do a wine tasting outside while you wait for the food to arrive, and learn how to use a GoPro.
Continue the biking adventure toward the river. Explore the little pathways and ignore the high schoolers smoking pot. FYI the paths aren’t exactly paved. Hence the adventure part.
On to another winery. Stop for water breaks and frolicking in vineyards along the way.
Arrive at Wither Hills. Sip on at least 10 different wines and pretend you know what you’re doing. Swirl. Sniff. Taste. Nod. Repeat.
What do you smell? Wine. What do you taste? Wine. For the sauvignon blanc, passion fruit is a safe bet. NZ’s Sauvignon Blanc is some of the best in the world, so I guess that would make passion fruit their secret ingredient.
Grab a full glass of sunshine and savor it on a bean bag in the afternoon wine. Tipsy much?
Bike home safely.
Open up a newly bought bottle of wine (preferably from Wither Hills/Saint Clair) or crack open a beer if you’ve had your fill of fermented grape juice, and grill out. Burgers? Corn on the cob? Lamb maybe? Sober up with dinner on the deck.
Top off the evening with a sunset stroll through the park. It’s good to walk off dinner and drinks.
Fall into bed – after drinking lots of water and maybe applying aloe.
Next day? Wake up. Repeat. After all, there’s about 58 more wineries to go.