Marlborough Wine Tours

Hey, here’s a good idea: let’s go drink a bunch of free wine, pedal around like crazy people on bikes in a wealthy town and only eat cheese and crackers for lunch. Oh yeah, and here’s your helmet… You’ll probably need it.

Holy crap, how did it take me 26 years to find out how awesome going for a wine tasting is?


Lindsay and Emilie… Guess which one is the French wine “snob” and which one likes free wine?

So here is how it all started; our French accomplice Emilie came to visit us for a few days at Punga and needed a ride back into town, which just happened to match up with our days off. Well since she is French, Lindsay pretends to be classy, and I’m a lush, I figured what could possibly go wrong with “borrowing” three bikes from Punga and spending a day at the Marlborough vineyards? Besides Emilie almost getting hit by a semi truck and the two girls fighting each other with lawn chess pieces at dinner, I guess nothing “bad” technically happened…

After cramming ourselves, three bikes and Emilie’s pack into the wagon and driving two hours to town, we got a bit of a late start so we could only go to five or six wineries before they closed. Though for a reference, on a civilized wine tour they do two tastings before lunch and two after lunch, tasting four to six varieties at each one. Since no one ever accused Clayton Smith of being classy we did six in three hours and tried every variety they would give us… And some twice. It helped that we could name drop a bit and say where we worked, it helped we could bullshit our way through sounding intelligent about wine and it helped that Emilie would say something condescendingly French about the wine to make the people pouring think we weren’t just drunk bicycle riders looking for some free swill. (Hey, we still bought two bottles as our “souvenirs” to bring back to Canada so we weren’t TOTALLY free-loading) It must’ve done the trick though because we woke up in our hostel room with grocery store chips strewn about the room, Hot Fuzz playing on repeat and drove back to work with a mild headache.

So obviously, if you live anywhere near wine country and you haven’t done a bicycle wine tour then you need to, next weekend. Or just call in sick to work tomorrow. If you don’t live in vineyard proximity then move, or plan your next family holiday there. Just remember your helmet because if you do it right there is a 78% chance of needing it by the end of the day.


Good people. Got us quite drunk.

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