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Murdoch James, Martinborough – Lunch

tasting room

tasting room

We took the Kiwi’s parents out to Martinborough for the day with the initial destination of Murdoch James.  During the ‘Wellington on a Plate’ festival we spent an evening at Butler’s Irish Chocolates for a wine and chocolate tasting, Murdoch James providing the wines, where a great night was had by all.  We decided then it would be nice to make a visit to the vineyard!

Out of Martinborough by around 7kms it wasn’t on our previous cycling trip, but with the trusty steed this time we headed out to the pretty location.  A vast tasting room provides a pleasant location to sample wines, with friendly chat and banter along the way.

After sampling some wines lunch called.  The large dining room is pleasant, with high ceilings, lots of windows and a generous deck for sitting out on when (if!) the sun shines overlooking the river and the countryside spanning out before you.

A nice mix of light meals and bistro food, we started with a tasting platter with lovely olives, dips, olive oil and a variety of bread although, as seems to be the case everywhere, not enough bread!



I enjoyed my light main of salt and pepper calamari with lemon aioli and rocket, a lovely, light and crisp batter enveloped calamari cooked lightly, so no rubbery calamari here! The beetroot and feta tart was also a popular and apparently delicious choice – I don’t do feta so didn’t have a bite!

Come summer I can easily see people whiling away the hours of a summer’s day here in very pleasant surroundings, good food and wine and pleasant and efficient service.  Great!

Check the board outside the tasting room – we found that they were offering 10% off wine purchases in the tasting room if you dined in the restaurant.

As an aside, we had a peek at the accommodation on offer at the vineyard, The Winemaker’s Cottage.  It has great outdoor space and would be wonderful of a summer’s eve to sit  out and have a BBQ, but on looking in the windows to the house we were rather disappointed!  We expected a cosy, luxurious place but found a more basic bach style property… we all concluded that we wouldn’t be booking to stay here in a hurry.  Shame, I feel it’s missing it’s potential.

Posted in Restaurant Review, Travel.

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3 Responses

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  1. Avalon says

    I do love eating at Murdoch James – and thier wine is amazing 🙂

    We turned up for a tasting early one morning, and becuase it was quiet we got a tour of the facilities. Smelling the wine in the barrels was an amazing experience.

  2. Paola says

    Sounds lovely! They are a nice bunch, Carl did the tasting at Butlers Irish Chocs and he was very personable and even gave us all a taste of their ‘Port’ which was GORGEOUS! And a wee link to Scotland, with the family ancestry which is nice!

  3. Nicola Belsham says

    Hey – thanks very much for the blog and feedback – we really do appreciate it!