The Taste of Marborough Half Day Tour started with a hotel pick-up in a luxury 4WD and then a leisurely meander through the beautiful Blenheim region on an equally beautiful early spring day. A visit to local honey producer The Honey Company, to sample the range of local honeys was both informative and a tasting sensation. Then on to collect gumboots (because the area had recently experienced local flooding) and a visit to local olive grower Basil Stanton at Stanton Olive Oils, a tour of the olive groves and an insight into what is involved in olive oil production. This former oceanographer has a wikipeadic knowedge about olives and willingly shared this. On then to local herb and lettuce grower Martyn Birch from Thymebank whose operation produces up to 20,000 lettuces a week for supermarkets and restaurants in Marlborough. Martyn is a perfect example of the new breed of entrepreneurs who identify a need and mobilize the resources to create a highly successful operation. Late in the morning we found time for a delightful lunch in the warm sunlight at Rock Ferry, a beautiful restaurant and winery well known in the area. Tour guide, local chef and entrepreneur Hamish Beard was a superb host, his local expertise and in depth knowedge of the local food and wine scene adding enormously to the pleasure of basking in the ambience of a most beautiful part of the world.
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