A must-do for the Wairarapa is a wine tour in Martinborough. A great thing to do on a sunny weekend if you are wanting to try some of the award-winning wines of the region. I first got introduced to the tasting experience for my 21st birthday. I absolutely loved it. All you need is a sober driver and a taste for some lovely wine! I suggest starting early, before lunch so you can have a couple of tastings before you eat and then a couple after.
If you don’t have a sober driver you could always try the tours that are available. Martinborough Wine Tours offer ($65 each) a private tour of 4-6 vineyards if you have a minimum of 4 people. They start at 10.30am and finish around 4.30pm. That is not a bad price for all your transportation and tasting costs. Another option is if you are staying in the Martinborough region, why not grab a bike and cycle around the vines?! A tasting is normally just $5 but as they are not allowed to charge for a ‘wine tasting’, it is called ‘wine education’. Some vineyards don’t charge for wine ‘education’ but on average it can cost you at least $5 per tasting (or glass), per person. Some of the vineyards offer if you buy a bottle, then you get your tasting for free or if you have lunch there, the wine tasting is included in the lunch. If you’re a backpacker then hire a bike instead to make it cheaper!
For a spot of lunch why not head out to the wonderful Poppies. Their wine is so delicious so a tasting is a definite before having their wonderful platter. The platter… my tummy is growling already just thinking about it. Both times I have been there I have ordered one of their seasonal vineyard platters filled with just the right amount of food. Each platter is $40 and feeds two people. It’s full of tasty goodness like Kapiti cheese, stuffed vine leaves, crispy pork belly and loads more. All up there are around 16 different things you can try! The platter was designed around the wines, so everything that is on the platter will go with one of Poppies wines. I can’t recommend this place enough. The owners, Poppy and Shayne are so lovely and welcoming. The staff are also very helpful and friendly. Poppy makes the wines and Shayne manages the vines so it is a very personal affair.
Make sure you book in advance if you would like to have lunch because they can get very busy in the weekends.
The venue is amazingly beautiful. At my 21st, we booked the table out the back. It was a lovely location looking out into the vineyard and sipping on delicious wine! They are also the perfect location for a wedding!
Put a wine tour on your bucket list of things to do this year! So much fun and always a good laugh. If you are not into wine then try out the beer brewery called Martinborough Brewery. You can taste a range of their beers and ciders and have some food if you want as well. The only thing is instead of getting individual glasses for a tasting, we got 5 glasses of different ciders so we all had to share, so If you’re funny about that then get a 5 glass tasting each. Hopefully, this inspired you to go on a wine trail in the beautiful New Zealand. Have a look at Agoda for Martinboroughs first class accommodation at great prices!