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We were caught off guard this morning by cool temperatures and rain that quickly turned into snow. So we bundled up in all our merino wool layers and headed out.

We drove about an hour north of Christchurch to the Canterbury wine region in Waipara to visit two wineries.

At Terrace Edge winery, a small family run organic winery, we tasted 5 of their wines. The assistant grower was helping out in the tasting room this morning – we’re pretty sure he is one of the family. It’s always fun to talk to the wine maker or the grower to get an understanding of their love of the land. We chatted about the particular microclimate in Canterbury, how grapes that don’t usually grow at this southern latitude are flourishing here. We usually try to find some smaller wineries so we can talk to the people that actually do the work! And their wine was tasty and not overpriced.

Terrace Edge also has an olive grove so we bought some olive oil as well.

Then it was off to Pegasus Bay Winery, one of the early, if not the first, winery in the region. It’s a larger operation with beautiful manicured gardens and a deli that puts together lovely basket lunches. It had mostly stopped snowing by lunch time, but was still really cold outside, so we took advantage of the upstairs dining area with views of the grounds.

The bathrooms at Pegasus Bay – complete with pithy quotes about wine!

New Zealand is famous for their meat pies. The Pegasus Bay deli actually had a gluten free option for Dave!

Traditional pie on the left and gf on the right. Both really yummy.
Lunch basket – local aged gouda and venison salami with garlic Dijon mustard and fig jam to round it out.

In the afternoon we drove out to the suburb of New Brighton on the coast to visit the He Puna Taimoana thermal spa. They have 5 wonderful hot pools right at the ocean’s edge.

Soak and watch the sea gulls

Dinner was back on Regent street at a Restaurant called 27 Steps as it’s on the second floor. Although we counted only 25 actual steps. We’re not complaining just pointing it out.

Tomorrow we explore a peninsula south of town and do some hiking.

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