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Napa in New Zealand?

Napa in New Zealand? Marlborough wine country - South Island
Sunset,  Nov, 1994  by Jerry Anne Di Vecchio

MARLBOROUGH district on New Zealand's South Island is reminiscent of California's Napa Valley. Both regions attract visitors with a taste for pastoral scenery and fine wines. But there is one big difference--the seasons are upside down: when it's winter in Napa, it's summer in Marlborough.
If you're planning a New Zealand vacation, consider adding Marlborough to your itinerary. Besides wine touring, it offers grand biking, hiking, and trout fishing. Accommodations range from comfortable motels to country inns.
This district is New Zealand's largest wine-producing area, and its wineries--some 20 of them--collectively produce about 35 percent of the country's wine. A few of these wines are making their way into Western markets.
Most of the vines and many of the wineries are less than 15 years old. Marlborough's signature wine is Sauvignon Blanc; the district's climate particularly favors this grape. Other good wines produced here include Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Muller-Thurgau, Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Semilion.
The majority of wineries are located just outside the town of Blenheim on Jacksons Road. You call rent a bike or car in Blenheim to visit many of the wineries. Several serve pub-style fare (sandwiches, cheese platters), and some have good restaurants: Allan Scott Wines and Estates, Ltd., on Jacksons Road, and Hunter's Vintners Restaurant, on Rapaura Road.
The Marlborough district also produces some notable foods, including farmed venison and salmon, as well as lamb, rock lobster, scallops, blue cod, cheeses, and first-rate fruits and vegetables.
The region celebrates its culinary and viticultural heritage every year on the second Saturday in February. For information on the Air New Zealand Marlborough Wine & Food Festival, write to festival director Mike Blair, Box 498, Blenheim, New Zealand, or call (011-64-3) 577-8977, or fax 577-8966.
Air New Zealand serves Blenheim from Wellington, with half-hour flights departing frequently.
For more information about lodging, dining, and recreation around Marlborough, write to Blenheim Visitor Information Centre, Box 880, The Form, Queen St., Blenheim, or call 578-9904.
COPYRIGHT 1994 Sunset Publishing Corp.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

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