In Vino Vallhund

Last month, Andy and I had planned a trip to Martinborough with our friends Scott and Mel, with Higgs in tow of course. What better place to stay than The General Store, where we went back in March with my parents? Walking distance to vineyards, takes doggos and has its own olive grove – yes, please!

On Friday morning, we set out over the Rimutaka Mountains, which is a much quicker journey now that we live out in Upper Hutt, cutting down the drive by about 30 minutes. After tackling the winding mountain road, we made for the shores of Lake Wairarapa to walk Higgs and stretch our eight collective legs. It was a BIT windy, but nothing to deter a group of Wellingtonians. Plus, the view back towards the mountains was incredible.

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And quite the novelty, a straight road! The Wairarapa truly feels like another world, sometimes.

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Higgs was loving the long grass.

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And why not take a quick dip?

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Everything was in full spring bloom.

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Despite the looming storm clouds, we set out to explore, knowing it was likely heading Wellywards.

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I loved this farm road, stretching into the distance towards the mountains.

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And how can you beat some linear dock ruins?

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To really top it off, there was even a dilapidated farm building with a photogenic door. This place ticked all of my ideal photo subject boxes!

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Having had enough of the wind, we set out for our final destination to settle in and wait for Scott and Mel to arrive.

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Just as charming as we remembered, especially with everything in bloom.

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Since we’d been there before, Higgs just assumed this was another of the many properties he owns in his dog mind and made himself comfortable.

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After visiting Martinborough Brewery, we met up with Mel & Scott, picked up some food to bring home for dinner and settled in for drinks and games.

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Despite a warm day, Martinborough cools down a lot at night, so it was the perfect opportunity to light a fire.

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We all had a good night’s rest, only punctuated by a short burst of barking (not to name names). The next morning, the day dawned beautifully. You really can’t beat this porch!

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Higgs agreed, despite eating a couple bees.

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They call it golden hour for a reason.

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After breakfast, it was time for a walk before hitting up the wineries.

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Never having had a reason to walk out of town, we discovered some amazing sights on this new road.

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The canine contingent had a lovely dip, and the humans were tempted.

Guess who’s who in silhouette:

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We left Higgs to guard the bach, and the four of us set out for wine and lunch platters at Poppies. I’ll spare you photos, since I’ve already taken quite a few of their fabulous food in previous blogs.

Next up was Margrain, where we decided to do a flight of wines while enjoying the sunshine.

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We turned townwards and set up shop at Martinborough Brewery for a break from the sun.

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Of course, I had to get a photo of Scott with his butchery after we picked up barbecue fare for dinner.

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From there, we walked toward home, and Colombo Vineyard, which conveniently happened to be on the way.

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Spring (well, every season) is a beautiful time to be in the Wairarapa.

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Crazy clouds appeared over the vineyard, making me think of Independence Day.

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Who has time to worry about aliens, though, when the wine is this good?

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We had a great Saturday night at The General Store, and on Sunday sadly said farewell and headed back over the mountains. As always, it isn’t TOO hard to go back to regular life when it’s still in Middle Earth.

Up next, Dunedin! A new place with awesome friends – views, street art and all around good times.

2 thoughts on “In Vino Vallhund

  1. What a great post, Kelsey. It was almost like being there. Higgs in the green grass – what a shot. And the flowers. And the scenery. All beautiful. The general,store is just as inviting as when we were there. All those golden morning photos made me feel like I wa sitting with my tea on the front porch soaking in the morning sun. Glad the place is closer to you now.

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  2. I love Scotty’s Meats! That’s where we got the delicious lamb and venison when we were there. And the General Store — what a great place. You had me longing to be there again, with that beautiful sunrise and all the great wine just a walk away (and a stagger home). I could even see our bedroom through the front door! Thanks for rekindling such great memories.

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