October 8, 2017
Dinner at Stefanos was upstairs above the art cinema complex. Not very big with shared tables and pizzas flying out the door. Was a happening place! We shared 2 medium pizzas with almost a whole one to take home. Nice thin crust. The Hopin Red Ale was terrible.
Still raining. Shared a bottle of Fickle Mistress pinot in the TV room watching some rugby and reading. Was warm and out of the rig!
Still raining this morning. Made plans for camping in Auckland before returning the rig to Britz next Sunday. Will take the Sky Bus airport transport in to the city. Tried to target a nice place for a final dinner but so much is closed on Sunday that it is difficult.
The drive from Nelson to Blenheim was a bit more twisty and curvy than we remembered going through the Richmond mountains. We wanted a nice place for lunch near or at a winery. Most wineries are closed on Sunday. By chance, we stopped at Herzog Winery that for dinner has a 5 course degustation menu in the evening. They have a very small (4-6 tables), warm and cozy bistro open for lunch near the wine tasting bar. The fireplace was aglow and we were nestled in our wing back chairs in front of it. The menu was limited but most interesting. Bob chose a Caesar salad and tagliatelle with chorizo. I chose stuffed squid with black ink and minced Mediterranean vegetables.
Hans Herzog is from an old Swiss wine family in Europe who grew up with the family business. His wife formerly worked at Hewlett Packard . She designed and manages a Michelin one star restaurant in Zurich. His passion was to grow many varietals and make wine he could not in Switzerland. As a part of their dream they came to NZ in the early 1990’s and planted their first vines in 1994. The first vintage was in 1996. They grow 29 varietals on 29 acres (!). The vineyards are organic and wines are fermented in French oak. For lunch we had a 2013 Tempranillo (!). Where would you see that grown in NZ! The wine list for the evening restaurant was amazing in that it was so international with good vintages. Grange Hermitage, Beaucastel. Harlan Estates etc. A couple stopped by and asked about our holiday. They have a summer home in Marlborough and home is Auckland. Seeing we liked food and wine as they do, they gave us a list of restaurants we might like in Auckland that we might not find otherwise.
Our meal was clearly made to order as we were in the restaurant for 2 ½ hours in front of the fire enjoying ourselves. My squid was very unusual with black ink crispy spider web like topping. Black ink filling and finely diced veggies.
Snacks for dinner tonight! Smoked salmon and sausage with crackers. Saving our really good red wine so a 2015 Mount Edward Morrison Vineyard Gruner Veltliner.
When it is raining we do laundry! LOL
Ferry to the NI tomorrow at 2:15.