We headed back to the South Island for a wine-filled birthday weekend. Wanting to take advantage of the nice weather, we decided to rent some bikes to visit the different wineries…which sounded like a fabulous idea until we were pushing through the gale force winds that New Zealand frequently offers. Anyway, we used Wine Tours By Bike, which is owned and run by Steve and Jo, a very sweet Kiwi couple. We were picked up at our hotel, given our bikes, a map and plenty of recommendations for the day, and then they dropped us back at our hotel once we were finished.

Our ferry had been delayed in the morning, so we ended up getting to Marlborough a bit later than anticipated. Even with our delayed start and Dmitriy’s poor navigational skills, we made it to four vineyards: Forrest, Glesen, Wairau River, and Framingham. I’m having a hard time remembering any highlights, which seems to be a clear sign that we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

We spent the night at Marlborough Vintners Hotel, which offers suites located in the middle of a vineyard. After room service and a good snooze, we did the Queen Charlotte drive and then made our way back to Wellington. Birthday weekend = success.

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