On Saturday Forrest Wines held its Gourmet Grazer Ride. A precursor to Forrest’s Graperide, the Gourmet Grazer ride heads out along the same course as the Graperide but in a somewhat more leisurely and delicious manner.
The Doctors’ John and Brigid Forrest, along with Graperide stalwarts Pete Halligan and Duncan McKenzie, hosted 40 “grazers” from around New Zealand and some keen riders from Melbourne.
Everyone headed off from Forrest Wines at 9am on the first leg of the ride with John taking up the responsibility of our “Tail End Charlie”. A slight head wind on the 35km ride to Picton made our arrival at EcoWorld Aquarium for coffee, savouries and Danish pastries by Margaret McHugh of Kippilaw House even sweeter. Feeling revived we set off on the second leg; a 35km ride “around The Grove” along Queen Charlotte Drive to Havelock.
Riding up the Wedge is the first challenge out of Picton but all our riders knocked it off and continued on; passing through the stunning Ngakuta Bay with its impressive jetty, the beautiful and inviting water at Momorangi Bay and skirting the eastern side of Anakiwa before putting our heads down to wrestle the Linkwater straight.
The natural beauty and stunning vistas that “The Grove” serves up definitely aids in alleviating any niggling muscle tiredness.
The Linkwater straight tested some of our riders but the knowledge that lunch was waiting for them over the Mahakipawa hill in Havelock kept them going. We all met up at the Slip Inn Café where we enjoyed their famous Mussel chowder or gazpacho for those after something a bit lighter, a variety of delicious gourmet pizzas and sweet slices to finish. It was the perfect opportunity to sit on the Slip Inn’s deck overlooking the Havelock marina with a glass of The Doctors’ Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling in hand (excuse Brigid’s finger in the photo). At only 9% alcohol they are a lighter alternative, perfect given we had to jump back on the bikes.
The third and final leg of the Grazer ride takes us from Havelock back to our starting point at Forrest Wines. Perfect conditions meant we had tail wind all the way home; the exact conditions you ask Mother Nature for on a long ride!
A quick freshen up on our arrival back at Forrest; mainly discarding the lycra for more appropriate dinner attire. To celebrate our Grazing ride we popped open some Bubbles for Brigid and relaxed around the garden, soaking up the sun while Margaret once again provided us with delicious food. We started dinner off with a variety of canapés while we tasted some of John’s premium John Forrest Collection wines; the Waitaki Chardonnay 2011 being a favourite.
Just as dinner service was about to commence, loud roars and cheers could be heard coming from the house as John runs out to tell us Martin Guptill just hit a world record innings for the Black Caps in a one day cricket match.
For dinner Margaret served mouth-watering beef fillet and a range of gourmet salads and homemade condiments. The Forrest Pinot Noir 2013 and Forrest Malbec 2013 were perfect compliments to dinner.
We finished off the night with delicious lemon posset. The Grazing ride truly was a fantastic day, such a perfect mix of physical challenge and gourmet interludes. We can’t wait to see everyone and more back next year.
Go the Black Caps.