Food and Wine in Central Otago
Spectacular landscapes, a sophisticated gourmet food culture and some of the world’s best Pinot Noir wines – not to mention impressive, vivid whites – best sum up New Zealand’s Central Otago region.
Join world-renowned wine aficionado Peter Bourne as he explores this region’s most outstanding wineries, offering exclusive access to some of their award-winning winemakers to discover why their wines are so internationally acclaimed.
And of course no trip to this part of the world is complete without enjoying the freshest of food produce, innovative cuisine and scintillating flavours against a backdrop of stunning mountain scenery.
On arrival in Queenstown, check in to your room at The Rees Hotel. In the evening, join Peter and your fellow travellers for a welcome dinner with wines to match at True South Restaurant, specialising in South Island food and wines.
After breakfast, travel to the beautiful Gibbston Valley, the highest and coolest of Central Otago’s wine regions, for a day among the vines. Visit first the spectacularly-located Chard Farm, one of the first vineyards established in Central Otago.
After lunch at Gibbston Valley Wines, tour the largest wine cave in New Zealand and enjoy a wine tasting amongst the warm, wooden glow of hundreds of barrels of maturing wine. Continue with a visit to Valli Vineyard, the estate of multi-award winning wine maker Grant Taylor, one of the world’s most famous producers of Pinot Noir. Round out the day by visiting Amisfield, a single estate vineyard nestled beneath the Pisa mountain range formed over two million years ago, this rugged inland location affords semi-continental climate and soil which produce different characteristics of more than mere fruit.
This evening is at leisure to enjoy the culinary delights of Queenstown if you wish.
Enjoy a day exploring the region around Lake Wanaka, whose deep blue waters are surrounded by high grey mountain peaks and some of Central Otago’s most picturesque vineyards. First stop is the magnificent Rippon Winery, whose vines look out across the lake to Mou Tapa and Mou Waho islands and to Mount Alta beyond. After free time for lunch in the lakeside town of Wanaka, depart for Two Paddocks, the winery of legendary New Zealand actor Sam Neill, in his own words “a Producer and Purveyor of fine Pinot for Gentry and Ratbags since 1993”.
This evening enjoy dinner with your fellow travellers at Rata Restaurant in Queenstown, prepared by chef and founder Josh Emmet, whom has previously worked with Gordon Ramsay.
Enjoy a day in the vineyards of Bannockburn & Cromwell, situated in the warmest and driest of Central Otago’s sub-regions, and whose climate nourishes both wine grapes and stone fruit. Visit first Felton Road, run by Nigel Greening and Blair Walter, and arguably the most prestigious winery in the entire Central Otago region. Their single-block productions of Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and Rieslings allow for fascinating contrasts of terroir. Next stop is Quartz Reef, operated by 2010’s New Zealand Winemaker of the Year Rudi Bauer. Quartz Reef produces Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Pinot Rose using biodynamic farming methods, which eliminate the use of chemical pesticides and focus on a continual enriching of the soil. Taste the results for yourself!
Spend the afternoon at your leisure in charming Arrowtown, home to a historic 19th Century main street and beguiling antique stores.
After returning to your hotel, enjoy a sumptuous farewell dining experience at Queenstown’s famous Botswana Butchery, with roaring log fires and a view over Lake Wakatipu – and wines to match of course, selected by The Wine Man himself.
After breakfast at the hotel, tour arrangements conclude.
*Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking.
Final payment due
03 September 2017
Please see booking conditions for fitness level definitions.
Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance.
Australian passport holders do not require a visa to visit New Zealand.
Tour price includes
- Accommodation in centrally located hotel with breakfast daily (B)
- Meals as per itinerary (L=Lunch, D=Dinner). Wines with meals
- Visits to seven specially selected wineries for talks and tastings
- Transportation throughout in comfortable air-conditioned coaches
- Gratuities for local guides and drivers
- Hotel porterage (one piece per person)
Tour price does not include
- Flights to/from Queenstown
- Transfers on arrival and departure
- Items of a personal nature, including telephone, laundry, taxis, room service, etc.
- Travel insurance (please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
The Rees Hotel *****
The Rees Hotel Queenstown is a sophisticated five star hotel situated right on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, five minutes from the town centre and thirty minutes to Gibbston Valley, home of Central Otago’s first commercial vintage. It also boasts one of Queenstown’s prime eating spots in its own restaurant, True South, an extensive wine cellar and complimentary shuttle services to/from Queenstown town’s centre.
NB. Hotel of a similar standard may be substituted