Up up up and down down down over the Rimutaka Hills to end up in the Wairarapa, wine growing country the other side of the hills from Wellington. The clouds were kissing the hood of the car as we passed over the highest part of the ‘hills’ and the wind threatened to blow us off the hill, but Kirsten kept her head straight and got us safely to the other side.
We stopped at the Poppies winery, just outside of Martinborough as it had the highest rating for lunch. The decor was simple, with white plaster walls and long dark wood tables. Kirsten, Shenna, Shawn and myself stood up at the bar for our 6 wine tasting (don’t worry, they were little tastes that left the driver in fine shape for the yet undisclosed adventure we were about to have.) There were 6 wines to taste: rose, sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, pinot noir, riesling, and an aged riesling sweet wine. I especially liked the white riesling with citrus overtones, and the pinot noir. Nissa enjoyed a bottle of lemon lime bitters with her lunch while the rest of us (except Kirsten) each had a glass of vino. I had a glass of the pinot noir. After the tasting we sat down to share a platter of food that included bits of roast pork, roast beef marinated in some wine, olives, Spanish quiche, tapenade, hummus, artichoke hearts, dolmades, and other things that I can’t remember.
After taking photos of the vineyard we piled into the car and took a wrong turn. What they say about seeing things that we wouldn’t have seen is so true. The scenery was spectacular as the road wound and narrowed and wound and narrowed some more until we felt we might be in hillbilly land and were certainly far from where we were meant to be. Kirsten did a U-ewey and we were heading back from whence we came. Ah, there’s the road. We did a quick stop in Greytown to walk the main street and get an icecream and then it was back over the hill and home.
We were all quiet as Kirsten drove us back over the hill. The wind was gusting and it seemed that we might be tossed into the abyss and lost forever. Thankfully, especially since there is so much ‘exciting’ driving, Kirsten is a good driver and does her best not to freak me out.
We started the day with a lovely breakfast of waffles and sausages made by Shenna with Nissa giving a hand. Fortifying, and no wonder my t-shirts are starting to look like sausage casings…