Kelly Kerr
2017 Pinot Personality Prize Winner
Visited... Nelson

Kelly was our first New Zealand Pinot Personality prize winner. Her spirit region was Marlborough so she bid farewell to the bright lights of Sydney and escaped across the ditch for an incredible trip immersed in the homeland of New Zealand’s most well known variety, Sauvignon Blanc as well as it’s neighbour, Nelson, the aromatics capital of the country. What she was surprised to find once she landed, was quite how suited the regions are to Pinot Noir. Kelly shares her travels with us in part one, of a two part blog series.

Your personality region is: Marlborough

Five words I didn’t know would lead me to a week-long adventure cruising along the top of the south island. I thought winning the Pinot Personality competition in 2017 would see me enjoying a few cheeky wines but it was oh so much more. My trusty travel pal Vicky and I got to visit Nelson, Marlborough and everywhere in between (thanks to our zippy Hertz rental car).

New Zealand Winegrowers, Tourism Nelson and Destination Marlborough hooked us up with the goods on our trip. We didn’t have to worry about a thing and kept receiving delightful surprises along the way. The perk to this, you see, is that you get to see and do things you’d never thought of before. So I am going to break down the trip highlighting a few of the most memorable moments.

Opera in the Park for some serious talent appreciation

There’s nothing better than sitting among a community of people, eating some amazing food, enjoying a beverage and humming along to well-known classics. Yes, this event only happens once a year so boy oh boy were we thrilled to be able to attend. All of Nelson was there and we were living for it. Give me a symphony orchestra, operatic singers and Bic Runga any day.

Kayak through the Abel Tasman National park with Kaiteriteri Kayaks

The first of our physical activities on the trip. We signed up for adventure and we got it. This full day experience lined us up to see all the nature including baby seals with their mums. I’d probably recommend it to those who like a mid-range physical activity. Requires work but you don’t feel like you won’t make it to the end. Plus the group stays nice and close together and you get to make new pals.

Word to the wise though, don’t stop paddling to figure out your GoPro, especially if you’re at the back. Your kayak buddy will not be impressed with the near rock collisions.

From here we changed scenes and headed to Richmond. The road trip between locations was also the perfect opportunity to check out some pretty cool sights – we were able to pop into Stoke Beer for a cheeky pale ale, Jens Hansen to see the one ring to rule them all, and the WOW Museum for some serious fashion art appreciation.

35kms of cycling fun in Mapua with Trail Journeys

Always say yes to the electric motor. You are welcome for that nugget of advice. The 35 km trail was absolutely brilliant and we made it to five different wineries during the day. The trail has some steep inclines but the views from the wineries are worth it. Plus all that unassisted cycling keeps your thirsty and your appetite vicious so you definitely capitalise on the tastings and cheese boards offered at each. I would also recommend keeping your eyes peeled for the wonderful homemade goods sold at stalls outside of people’s homes. There’s nothing like homemade.

Check out part two of Kelly and Victoria’s adventures in Nelson and Marlborough here. And don’t forget to take the quiz if you’d like in with the chance of being Mr or Ms Pinot Personality in 2019!

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