While the temperatures remain warm here in Blenheim, the days are becoming shorter, reminding us that summer is once again coming to a close. I don’t know about you, but I don’t mind the end of summer too much because autumn is such a spectacular time of year in Marlborough. And there is so much going on here! That’s not to say we won’t try to squeeze in a few extra days at the beach before the temperatures dip though.
We’ve put together a list of our favourite end-of-summer and autumn activities in and around Blenheim. If you’re planning a trip to our part of the country this autumn, we hope you’ll find this guide helpful!
For the next few weeks, our region will be absolutely buzzing with the excitement of the 2014 grape harvest. Winegrowers are predicting that the bulk of the harvest will begin in mid-March and continue through April. Unlike last year, the harvesting season will be a little more spread out, which allows the vineyards to focus on selecting the best fruit from the vines. We are really excited to try the 2014 Sauvignon Blancs from Marlborough this year!
If you’re coming for a visit in March or April, you may be able to take part in the excitement of the harvest. Here’s how:
Many of Blenheim’s local vineyards host harvest festivals during their harvest season or just after they’ve completed their harvest. Other vineyards invite guests to join in the harvest on certain days. If this is something you’re interested in, we encourage you to ask our hotel staff about harvest events taking place while you’re in town. While they’re not always well-publicised, we try our best to stay in the loop about these events so we can directe interested guests in the right direction.
On March 7, celebrate the beginning of the 2014 harvest with some live music at Framingham winery. This intimate event is held in their charming winery courtyard and promises to once again delight locals and tourists alike. You can purchase tickets at their cellar door in Renwick or from WINO’s on Grove Road in Blenheim.
If you weren’t able to attend the Marlborough Wine Festival this year, you can still enjoy the spirit of this renowned festival at this photography exhibit, which celebrates the 30 year history of the festival. The show runs through March 16 at the Millennium Public Art Gallery in central Blenheim. The gallery’s hours are 10:30am to 4:30pm during the week and 1pm to 4pm on the weekends.
There always seems to be a bumper crop of fresh produce at the end of summer in Blenheim. Take advantage of the bounty by checking out the farmer’s market and other local events.
The region’s best farmers’ market happens every Sunday from 9am to 12pm right here in Blenheim, just 2km from Hotel d’Urville. At the market, you can peruse a wide variety of fresh produce, meats, fish, nuts, wines and oils. The farmers’ market offers high-quality foods at a great price and it’s the perfect way to sample many of our region’s culinary delights in one day.
If you’re a fan of New Zealand’s favourite bivalve, then you won’t want to miss the annual Havelock Mussel Festival! This daylong festival has over 70 stalls featuring food, wine and artisanal products, activities for children, competitions, cooking demos and, of course, lots and lots of mussels. There’s also an educational element to the festival – learn all about the marine farming industry that has helped position New Zealand as a leading provider of mussels worldwide. The event occurs on Saturday, March 15 and tickets are just $28 for adults.
Why not stay with us at Hotel d’Urville this autumn so you can be right at the centre of the action? We encourage you to enjoy these warm days and plan your agenda so you can take in a few of Marlborough’s seasonal events.
Is autumn your favourite time of the year? What events do you look forward to this year? Feel free to share your ideas below!