The day has finally arrived for the first of our bicycle tours through New Zealand vineyards and what better place to start than the famous Marlborough region. The vines are still looking quite bare at the moment, but we’re enjoying a gorgeous crisp Spring morning with vivid blue skies. The sun’s on my back and it’s happiness on a stick. Now listen up folks, some of the roads are gravelly, so it pays to slow down in places, but a lot of the time you will be riding on tarsealed surfaces and plan the wine trail of your choice beforehand. I forgot to pack my padded bike pants. No problemo.

Our first stop is Framingham’s Winery. The tasting staff look pleased but rather astonished to see such ‘early birds’. Apparently visitors don’t usually appear before 10am. This property is beautiful outside with lovely grounds and relaxing, styly interiors. I like the discerning staff at Framingham. They understand that everyone is different. Some punters like the whole ‘spiel’ and others like to be left alone to take their own notes. I enjoy the hands-on approach. I gotta tellya, the Classic Riesling is beautiful with a lingering dry finish (that’s what it said on the notes) You know there’s always that funny wee moment when I have to use the spittoon and there’s no elegant way people! At best, I’m left with an embarrassing chin dribble, (that’s if it doesn’t rebound up my nose). Nuff said, here’s ME raising my glass to YOU.

All this fresh air is invigorating so I race Michael to the next winery, Forrest. One of Forrest’s wine’s is the Doctor’s Riesling and it has a very cute label on the bottle showing the silhouette of a man riding a bike. He’s dressed in Victorian style clothing complete with top-hat and flapping coat-tails. Forrest also has a wine called called Gruner Veltliner, a cross between a Savignon Blanc and a Riesling..interesting…

I’m back on the bike and pedalling towards Seresin Winery what a beautiful location. I admit, there’s definitely a change in my energy levels but will ignore the creeping paralysis in my legs. Jim is taking us through the tastings and informs us that Seresin is also known for it’s beautiful oils which can be sampled and purchased at the on-site shop. I would like to linger but more people have arrived and selfishly, I don’t want to share the attention we’re been getting from Jim.

So we’re biking…we’re biking and suddenly, I HIT THE WALL! Yes, within seconds, my legs and bum bones turn to solid concrete. This is where the nine-year-old kicks in. “It’s just around the corner, just a few minutes to go” Michael goads and gajoles until I finally see our accommodation looming ahead. Must’nt grumble – it’s been a fabulous morning so I graciously strike a thoughtful pose for the camera…it helps to relieve my sore bum.

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