Summer is here in New Zealand, and it is splendid. Now in my new( ish) dwelling of Canterbury by the sea, the forages have dehydrated to pale yellow, the days are long and warm, and occasion stands still in many ways.
Now, I know the rest of the world is totally screwed suffering at the moment. I don’t mean to rub your snouts in how good we have it now down under. We have it good. Every day I thank my lucky stars that I’m here , not there. Now in New Zealand COVID is virtually gone, and life is somewhat regular. Minus our closed borders and all.
Even though our international tourism is mostly dead, kiwis are getting out and about exploring their own backyard more than ever. And when Christchurch is your locate, your backyard is pretty epic.
As January rolled around, countries around the world buskers commemoration Bread and Circus knocked off- less international and more national than was expected. And with it was a calendar of episodes and carnivals to start 2021 freedom!
Now, if you’re like me, you didn’t know what the word ” busking” required until this year. Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Busking wants street performers, like dancers, acrobats, and musicians, something fostered here in Christchurch.
One of the fun happenings on the cards was a day exploring the wineries of North Canterbury, one of my favorite acts. Summertime drinking and being chauffeured, fed, and entertained all day? Sign me up, stat.
I was also pleased to see so many of my person Christchurch millennials show up too, dressed in their Instagrammable bests and ready for a epoch of fun.
Luckily my partner in crime, Giulio, had the day free and was able to join me as we cruised around to some of the best vineyards of North Canterbury.
This corner of the South Island is his turf, where many of his favorite food farmers, vineyards, and suppliers live. It was likewise the place that brought us together all those years ago, so it braces a special place in my heart.
I joined in on the wine-colored harvest in the area on a project five or six years ago, spending a day around the Waipara Valley by one of the most inspirational ladies I’ve ever match- Angela Clifford of the Food Farm. With her, the world of foraging, permaculture, and organic wine-coloureds opened up to me.
I can still remember bringing some of the mushrooms and truffles we foraged that day to my dinner that evening at Root, Giulio’s former eatery, and where we met the first time.
North Canterbury is one of New Zealand’s best-kept mysteries. An uncrowded Napa Valley late in the heart of New Zealand’s South Island, North Canterbury is home to close to 100 bespoke independent vineyards.
Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Reisling are the top dogs now, which clothings me perfectly. I’m sure this is right to come summertime I’m 50% Chardonnay.
A century ago, farmers settled in Canterbury, and the farm culture remains strong here even today. With its excellent grunge and environment, it’s the perfect region for an abundance of nutrient. The fruitful clays combined with shrivelling hot summers and frigid winters display forceful and complex grapes.
On our way out of the city, we picked up two delicious cross-dressing-wine-adoring nannas who kept us fellowship throughout the day. Entertaining, to say the least, it obligated the busking gala occasion all the more fun!
Our first stop was Pegasus Bay Winery, one of the most iconic North Canterbury vineyards. We savoured so many of their more beautiful wine-coloureds starting in the cellar, surrounded by musty casks. It was like stepping into the terribly drumming stomach of the winery itself, an exceptional experience that you don’t often find here.
As you walk alongside the aging wine casks, the smell and temperature immediately freight you. For me, I merely had to close my noses, and I was back in my beloved La Rioja in north Spain, wandering through the dampen, ancient cellars of my friends and falling in love with wine all over again.
In normal Canterbury fashion, the glooms moved off by midday. Soon it bathed us in sunshine as we swirled down some of the region’s best vintages.
We wrapped up a beautiful summer’s period at Greystone Wines, another fave and a longtime haunt of Giulio’s. One of their Pinot Noirs was reputation best in the world a few years ago. Their stylish tasting chamber attracted us in for hours as we taste-tested our behavior through some of the most appropriate wines. With summer in full swing, every vine was brimming with plump grapes, picture-perfect in every nature.
Snoozing on Giulio’s shoulder, tan, full, and a bit tipsy, I couldn’t help but smile on our bus razz back to Christchurch. What a lovely date out! Let’s make love again soon.
Have you been to the vineyards of North Canterbury? Is this your idea of an epic Saturday out? Share!
Many thanks to ChristchurchNZ for hosting us in North Canterbury. Like ever, we’re keep it real- all minds are our own like you can expect less from us!
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