The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - Escape - - LONELY PLANET’S COLOMBIA -

Mart­in­bor­ough Au­tumn is the ideal time to visit wine coun­try, when grapes hang heavy on the vines and es­tates are busy with the ac­tiv­ity of vin­tage.

In the pretty North Is­land vil­lage of Mart­in­bor­ough, the heat of sum­mer is re­placed by de­light­fully warm days and com­fort­ably cool nights. Mart­in­bor­ough, a town of 1300 peo­ple at the south­ern end of the famed Wairarapa wine re­gion, where some of New Zealand’s most cel­e­brated pinot noir is pro­duced, is home to 45 winer­ies and 20 cel­lar doors as well as other gourmet en­ter­prises that thrive be­side the vines.

March is packed with har­vest fes­ti­vals and the best way to ex­plore the vine­yards, me­an­der­ing from one win­ery to the next sam­pling the red and white va­ri­eties, is on a bike hired from March Hare Cy­cling. The flat coun­try roads are peace­ful places to pedal.

Pep­pers Pare­hua is a bou­tique re­treat be­side a block of pinot grapes on the edge of Mart­in­bor­ough, and each of the stylish self-con­tained cot­tages has a ve­randa on which to en­joy the au­tumn sun­shine and a roar­ing fire to snug­gle be­side when night brings the cold. See wairara­

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