The gravel plains that flank the Wairau River around the towns of Blenheim and Renwick form some of New Zealand’s most prized wine country. The region, sheltered by the protective hills of the Richmond Range, basks in around 2400 hours of sunshine a year, making it perfect for ripening the grapes for its esteemed Sauvignon Blanc. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes also grow well (guaranteeing tasty bubbly), as do olives, used for light golden olive oils.

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