This morning at 8:25 am, we began our 3 hour cruise across the Cook Strait from Wellington to Picton. We essentially got up, showered and went to the ferry station. We were lined up in 5 queues and it seemed all the campervans were put in the same line. I mused over the people behind us getting to watch as I converted the bed back into a dining area and pulled everything out for breakfast. It was a sign of the food adventures to come.
The northern region of the South Island is called Marlborough. The region is considered to be like the Mediterranean and therefore boasts a fertile agricultural area. Oh to be in summer with all the produce again! And this time being able to get it straight from the field where it was grown.
Our stop for the night is Motueka which is a two and a half hour trek from Picton which means we have all day to savor the flavor of the region. I declared it a “happy food” day. A search for those favorite things that can make any day spectacular – even a rainy day driving down a windy road for hours.
It began with - “Cherries, James” There was orchard on the side of the road that allowed us to pick them ourselves. Have you ever had a black cherry straight from the tree? I could eat my weight in them. We picked nearly 3 kilos and I think got them for a steal at 29 New Zealand dollars. That translates to about $3.00/lb!
Then we stopped at the Makana, a boutique chocolate factory, where all the confections are hand made on the premises. I do love chocolate, but pop one of these in your mouth and somehow the whole world around you disappears.
From there we stopped at the Hunter’s Vineyard for a wine tasting. We left with three exceptional bottles – a dry Riesling, Pinto Gris and The Chase (a blend of Pinot Noir and Merlot). We asked if they had a bottle opener and were told to get into this century – everything is screw top. Well, well!
With the climate, this also is becoming a region for olives. Almost at the end of the wine trail we found an olive shop with easily 30 different specialty olive oils. We chose a small bottle of a line infused extra virgin oil.
Motueka is on the Tasman Bay on the South Island, so we sought out fish for dinner when we arrived. We chose a deep sea white fish (I’m sorry the name escapes me and the wrapper is in the trash) and marinated it in the olive oil before grilling it.
More pics at: