September 29, 2017
Stunned ourselves by not awakening until after 9:00!! Beautiful, somewhat warm morning so we were optimistic by putting on shorts! Laundry etc. so did not leave camp until almost noon.
We are supposed to stay at Aurum Winery in town tomorrow night through okay 2 Stay but because of our trip reconfiguration will be in Queenstown. Stopped by and spoke with Lucy, the French winemaker, who said we could email and stay when we liked. She seemed very convivial and we look forward to our visit which will be whenever we decided to go to Mt. Cook. She also said we should another family owned vineyard, Brennan, in Gibbston Valley.
The area has many orchards so we stopped at Jackson’s where Bob found dried tangerines. From there we made an appointment to visit Mount Edwards because they claimed to distribute single vineyard pinots to the likes of the French Laundry etc. Very small place on Coal Pit Road on the side of a mountain. Denice ( who reminded us very much of Joie Malpass)was there to greet us and was delightful although she had not worked there for too long. They produce 10,000 cases between their estate vineyards and second label Ted with as many as 8 varietals. Some of their wines are such small production that they actually bottle, label and cork themselves. Their wines are distributed to the US through K & L but have lots of repeat direct business. We bought the pinot, pinot blanc and Gruner Veltliner. The winemakers are Duncan Forsyth, the Big Cheese, and Anna, the Swiss Cheese. Both were lots of fun. Duncan’s daughter is on a Rotary exchange in France. This discussion came about because Bob proudly displays our Rotary and U Mich magnets on the rear of the rig! Fun, casual visit! Denise suggested that we stop at Wet Jacket because she had heard great things but not been herself. Had lunch in the rig although Duncan had invited us to have it on his patio when he noticed. We were nearly finished and stayed in the rig.
Stopped at Wet Jacket that shared a small space with Whitestone Cheese. Again the setting was casual with a fireplace, comfortable chairs and table. Alex was a hoot and very congenial with everyone. We happened to be there with a young Asian couple from SF on their honeymoon who ordered 4 cases to be shipped and they had not even tasted one of the wines they bought! Alex is going to visit his friend in Truckee who manages Truckee Winery! Is that even possible? He then will go to work in the Okanagan Valley next summer. Has spent time in Toronto so likes Canada. Another couple who came in as we were leaving suggested that we go to the Grove in Auckland albeit in a questionable neighborhood. Stopped in the cheese area and I bought some blue cheese.
We had no luck with the GPS locating the camp ground in Queenstown and the camp employee was no help! Drove to Qtown and found a camper parking spot. The I Site helped us with directions to the camp and our flight tomorrow.
We have several very good recommendations for restaurants (Rata, Botswana, Fishbone) plus Fergburger where you can queue forever for a gigantic burger and is an institution. However, Bob wanted Thai takeout! Went to the Wharf Pub and had 2 Mac Hop pints that we did not finish. Good people watching. Walked most of the town and find it beautiful but mostly “adventure, fast food and souvenir” stuff. Too windy to do much walking along the lake so at 5;45 headed for camp. Whether we spend more time here is TBD. Will probably go to Arrowtown, Te Anau etc. Still need to plan the rest of our itinerary.
2015 Pepperjack cab from the Barossa Valley. Yes, we will have some Otago wines! Cannot take home so will ultimately drink. Thai take out, left over flank etc for dinner.
At 8:00 check with the tour company to see if we go!