Marlborough Wine Region – Blenheim, South Island, New Zealand

On the Trail of the Grape, with a Manor at Day’s End

Unlike most of the world’s revered wine-growing regions, which are cele­brated for their grapes alone, the Marlborough region of the South Island combines two distinctive reasons to visit: the grandeur of the unspoiled coastal Marlborough Sounds, with dozens of secluded bays and beaches, and to the south, the vineyards encircling the town of Blenheim.

Surrounded by mountains, this rolling area of former sheep farms became a wine dis­trict little more than twenty years ago, but today it’s one of the country’s largest and best known, with fifteen area vineyards producing sauvignon blanc and chardonnay that are making their mark internationally. The area is still dominated by industry giant Montana, but the wineries of Cloudy Bay and Hunters are also recognizable names, and worth a visit.

Eight lucky guests will call Timara Lodge their home while here; the elegant but cozy Tudor-style manor house was built in the 1920s, and its English-style gardens and small lake (complete with two black swans) make as lovely a setting as one could wish to find. Excellent food is, of course, complemented by an excellent cellar stocked with the best local and national wines, all passion­ately overseen by your delightful hosts.

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