This was the first day of rest since our epic ride began in Picton 14 days ago and it was much needed by us all. 13 straight days of riding on average 80-90km per day is very taxing, even for much younger athletically fit people as opposed to us ageing Hospice Warriors. However we've always been active and if you eat well and have a nice wine or two nightly you sleep nicely, recover well and pop out of bed the next morning raring to go again.
Today we did not have any plans so after a very late breakfast we headed out to Rippon Wines to catch up with Jo and Nick Mills and thank them for their generous donation of a Jeroboam (3 litres) of Rippon 2005 (great vintage) Pinot Noir, which will be offered in our wine auction at a date TBC, but probably mid-April. Jo treated us to a private tasting of all of the current Rippon releases of which we enjoyed them all… my particular favourite was the 2013 Rippon Emma's Block.
Then Jo ushered us upstairs to taste several back vintages of Rippon Pinot Noirs from their cellar stocks. Very fortuitously we were able to sample the 2005 Rippon from 750ml bottle and it was in a beautifully developed state, but still with great energy. Clearly the 3 litre going up for auction will be much more youthful given the larger the format, the slower the development so it is going to have enormous appeal.
We then ordered a selection of cheese and meat platters and Jo kindly treated us to a bottle of the 2011 Rippon Mature Vine Pinot Noir. We whiled away an hour in the sun outside cellar door taking in the stunning vista over the vineyards, across Lake Wanaka to the impressive array of mountains surrounding it… simply beautiful way to unwind. Later that night we ate locally before lights out around 9.00am to rest in preparation for our ride to Queenstown tomorrow.