Cricketers take wine tour
Some of England's top class cricketers planned a visit to Marlborough today, ahead of the deciding test match against the Black Caps which starts in Auckland on Friday.
But instead of training, the group of 15, which includes England's top pace bowlers James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Steven Finn, planned to relax and try the wines of some of Marlborough's smaller wineries.
The fleeting visit was organised by British wine distributor Johnnie Wheeler, who is a co-owner of Marlborough vineyard Clayvin, in the Brancott Valley.
Mr Wheeler said England's batting coach and former batsman Graham Gooch was a big fan of Marlborough wines, particularly Clayvin and Fromm, both made at Fromm Winery near Renwick.
Gooch, lauded as being one of the most successful international batsmen of his generation, contacted Mr Wheeler ahead of the England versus New Zealand test series to ask about the chances of a private visit to the Marlborough vineyards and the Fromm winery.
The group also includes England batsman Jonathon Trott and three players from the Twenty20 squad, Jonny Bairstow, Chris Wokes and James Tredwell.
They were to fly in this morning before a tour of Jacksons and Rapaura Rd, barrel tasting at Fromm Winery, and lunch at Clayvin vineyard.
- The Marlborough Express