A brief weekend trip to Blenheim took us to the famous Brancott Estate Winery (formerly known as Montana Wines). In 2009 the new Brancott Estate centre was opened on an elevated spot with an expansive views of the Brancott Valley and beyond
The centre offers a short video detailing the history of Brancott Estate as well as wine tasting and lunch.
The restaurant offers floor to ceiling windows giving visitors sweeping views of the Brancott valley and on a clear day, glimpse of the lower North Island while indulging delectable food consisting of light and heavy options, sharing platters and desserts are available and stunning wines at the restaurant.
Parking is roughly 200m from the Cellar door. There is a shuttle that comes down to the carpark to take you up to the cellar door if you do not wish to take the nice scenic walk.
We were told that if we ordered a meal we would receive complementary wine tasting. So we decided to do the wine tasting as our meals were being prepared.
There are a number of wines that were not available at the cellar door only such as the Late harvest (dessert) wine and some others which I did not manage to catch the name of. Staff were very knowledgeable in their wines.
We finished our wine tasting before our food arrived so I took the opportunity to take some pictures of the Brancott valley.
Amuse Bouche – whitebait souffle was light, well seasoned and enticing me to want more. A great start to our lunch.
Panfried grouper with garlic & olive oil Mash with leak fennel and caper salsa was well cooked. All ingredients complemented each other.
The braised lamb with pappardelle and mushroom melted in your mouth. The only downside the pappardelle was a bit to thick for my liking.
We decided to order a dessert to share, the afforgato, vanilla ice cream, espresso, biscotti and a glass of Brancott Estate Letter Series Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2011, specifically for the dessert wine. The biscotti was not too hard nor too soft. The vanilla ice cream is very creamy as you would expect from high end New Zealand ice cream. All and all was a very pleasant dessert dish.