Central Otago Wine Tour
Duration: Full day from Queenstown
Bannockburn, Central Otago
This is not your run-of-the-mill wine tour. I’ll meet you at 8:30am for a relaxed one-hour drive over Queenstown Hill to Bannockburn in historic Central Otago. We’ll see a few sights on our way into the heart of wine and stonefruit country and you’ll hear stories about the local history on this pretty drive down. We’ll arrive at Amisfield Estates for a 90-minute private behind-the-scenes tour with the winemaker, who will personally take us through the vineyard and winery to show us how they craft their award-winning wines from how they grow and harvest the grapes through to bottling.
We’re privileged to be able to offer this hands-on tour of Amisfield Estates, which is not open to the public. It’s one of the largest single-estate vineyards in the region and features a striking, architecturally designed winery set in the vineyards. The winemaker will take us from the vines right through to the aging room stacked high with barrels, where we’ll sample some premium and limited edition Amisfield wines.
We’ll bid farewell to the team and carry on through Bannockburn’s rugged landscape to the Cellar Door at Mt Difficulty, located on famed Felton Road, to sample some more wines.
Gibbston Valley and Queenstown
Then we’ll drive back to Queenstown where we’ll stop in at a new boutique tasting room. Wet Jacket Cellar Door is located in a beautifully converted 150-year-old former wool shed. Part of the working woolshed has been kept intact so you can see how the wool once came off the sheep and was pressed into bales for market and touch the fleeces. After enjoying the full range of Wet Jacket wines, which are only available here and in a few of the top restaurants in the country, we’ll duck around the corner for a late lunch. (Don’t worry, we’ll have plenty of snacks available along the way in case you get peckish before lunch.)
The royals, William and Kate, made a point of dining at Amisfield Bistro during their New Zealand tour. It’s a multi-award winning restaurant and we think one of the best around. We highly recommend the ‘Trust the Chef’ option, a 2-hour shared dining extravaganza for the palate based on the freshest produce available on the day. It’s absolutely the best way to experience the wine, although an la carte menu is also available.
After lunch, we’ll drive through Arrowtown, a historic gold mining town, before returning to your hotel.