We drove the Treasured Pathway (doesn’t that sound ever so much more romantic than ‘scenic route?) out of Nelson around the bottom of the Queen Charlotte Sound. I’m still not entirely clear on the exact definition of a sound, versus say an inlet or a bay or a fjord, but it was quite stunning and certainly worthy of being treasured by the nation.
After a much needed week of relative isolation, I felt ready to socialize once again, thus booked us a stay at the campground/RV park in Blenheim, the heart of the Marlborough wine region. Sure enough, as soon as we checked into our cabin, this friendly jumping duck came over to welcome me to town and offered her services as a wine tour guide:
Instead, we opted for a more reputable operation with more comfortable seating arrangements. The Marlborough is famous for its Sauvignon Blanc, and if you are ever shopping for one, you really cannot go wrong to select one from this region. If someone dropped me into the middle of the valley, I would swear I was in California - one side was lined with soft brown hills dotted with oaks and the other with lush green mountains. There were even fields of golden poppies interspersed amongst the vines.
I could dribble on and on about the quality of the varieties, the sumptuousness of the venues, and the conviviality of the people, but after two days of ‘Extreme Winetasting’, I have exhausted my supply of enological adjectives. After the ninth winery, I was forced to resort to descriptors such as ‘unambiguous’, ‘mischievous’, and ‘perpendicular’. My tongue feels like it has been soaked in nitric acid.
Nothing creates camaraderie among strangers like getting sotted together in a big white van, especially if you happen to share some rather unpopular yet strongly held reproductive opinions. We met two absolutely delightful couples on the tour, and I say that because I really liked them and not just because they fed me dinner and sprayed me with bug repellent then wrapped me in a fuzzy blanket and pointed out to Kevin that he had been using the women’s toilet all night and let us drink all their beer as we sat in their camper laughing into the wee hours of the evening.