There’s only one way that the vineyards should be experienced, and that is by bike! Just over a month ago, Green Jersey Cycle Tours kindly invited me to ride around the vineyards in Martinborough, which is located near the bottom of the North Island. Here’s a little review of my time on the tour and how you can explore the vineyards by bike in Martinborough just like I did!
This region delivers some of the best wines in the world, it’s very famous for its pinot noirs! However, less than 2% of New Zealand’s wine production is made in this district. There are more than 20 boutique vineyards in Martinborough, most of them you are able to taste the wines, and each has their own unique twist to them.
Our first stop of the tour was the Victorian style town called Greytown, which is only a 15-minute drive from Martinborough. Greytown has an abundance of cute cafés, great coffee, and antique shops. After a nice hot chai to warm us up on the cold winters day, we then went for a stroll down the main street and had a quick look at the shops before arriving at Schoc Chocolates, one of my favourite places in Greytown, you can probably guess why! Here you can taste some of the most bizarre, but delicious, flavoured chocolates including carrot and coriander, curry and papadum, fennel, chilli, lavender and loads more interesting flavours. Sometimes you can even see the chocolatiers behind the counter in action! After a lot of taste testing, we then started our journey towards Martinborough.
Just before we hit the town we stopped over at an amazing viewpoint looking over Martinborough so we could take some amazing photographs and learn a bit more about the green landscape that is found in the Wairarapa. Once we arrived at the shop it was time to get onto our bikes and start riding and drinking around the vines! We started off in the square where our guide Stuart talked about Martinborough’s history before cycling to our first winery. The day was pretty gloomy so we got to try 3 vineyards before the rain set in: Schubert, Margrain and Muirlea Rise. They all have very beautiful wines with lots of character. After some great tastings and banter, it was lunchtime! On a sunny day Green Jersey makes a handmade picnic for you, which is included in the tour, but because it started to rain near the end of our tastings, he took us on a trip to the Lake Ferry restaurant for lunch instead!
A delicious lunch by the fire and a little walk around the Lake Ferry area, it was time to head back to Greytown. Obviously, this is not something that Stuart includes in every tour, but I loved how he adapted the tour to suit the weather conditions and made sure it didn’t dampen our day in any way!
Green Jersey Cycle Tours was founded by Stuart and his wife Lucia in 2011. Then later in 2014, Joe and Pam joined their successful business. They have a number of different tours in the region and a popular cycle tour, which starts in Wellington and goes over the Rimutakas until you get to the Wairarapa. I really felt like this tour was personalised and they made you feel like you weren’t just a number like some tours can make you feel. I really enjoyed my time and I would highly recommend doing this tour when you come to the Wairarapa. The price for this tour was $140.00 (NZD) each and includes pickup from the Featherston Railway Station, hire of the bike, a guide, gourmet picnic and visiting 3 wineries and an olive grove. We started the day around 9/9.30am and finished about 3.30/4pm.
A big thank you to the team at Green Jersey Cycle Tours for having me and letting me experience a great day out in the Wairarapa! Another big thank you to Wairarapa Tourism for making it happen. If you have any questions about the tour, then leave them down below, or you can contact Stuart directly over at firstname.lastname@example.org Need accommodation in the Wairarapa? I highly suggest you take a look at Agoda or Hotels.com. I highly recommend them!
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