Only 18 miles (29km) south of Picton, in the midst of a major wine-growing region, is the sun-kissed town of Blenheim. Marlborough’s wines have an international reputation for excellence and the vineyards around Blenheim can offer exclusive vintages that it would be difficult to obtain elsewhere. Guided tours of the wineries with extensive tastings are conducted by Deluxe Travel Line, but a wine trail map is also available from the tourist office for those who want to visit the vineyards at their own pace.
Among the wineries that serve meals are Allan Scott Wines & Estates (a real tip for food, not just wine!), Hunter’s Wines and Merlen Wines. A special treat for wine connoisseurs lucky enough to secure a ticket is the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival. It takes place on the second Saturday in February at Montana Wine’s Brancott Estate, the largest vineyard in New Zealand.
Apart from the bacchanalian pleasures of food and wine, Blenheim can also offer an edifying peek into its pioneering history at the Brayshaw Museum Park. On display are some impressive traction engines, vintage tractors and a reconstructed colonial village.