The South Island is an unmissable experience for any wine lover, with its breathtaking scenery and an abundance of award-winning wines to delight the palate. Here are four world-class wine regions to indulge in.
With its sheltered, sunny, coastal climate at the northern tip of the South Island, Nelson is well suited to growing aromatics. These are characterised by crisp flavours of citrus and green apple. Home to about 25 wineries, this may be one of the smaller wine regions of New Zealand, but it’s well worth a visit, especially when you consider that you can visit most of these boutique wineries in a single day. You’ll be treated to picture-perfect views and award-winning wines accompanied by fresh local cuisine. This boutique wine region is best suited to lovers of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, aromatics and Pinot Noir. Neudorf Vineyards is a must see!
Just a short trip over the Richmond Range, you’ll find the wine region that put New Zealand on the map. Marlborough is recognised as one of the premium wine regions in the world. Producing 77% of New Zealand’s grape supply and home to over 151 wineries, 581 grapegrowers, and 20,000 hectares of vineyards, Marlborough is New Zealand’s largest wine region. Marlborough has exceedingly high sunshine hours and significant sub-regional diversity. Winemakers expertly craft aromatic, herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc, fruit-driven Pinot Noir and full-bodied Chardonnays. Cloudy Bay Vineyards is a must visit as part of a VIP wine experience. Later, indulge your senses on a private luxury cruise around the breathtakingly beautiful, untouched Marlborough Sounds, enjoying local seafood matched with world class local wines.
Bordering Christchurch city on the East of the South Island, North Canterbury is a world-renowned destination for wine and food. North Canterbury vineyards enjoy high sunshine hours and a cool, dry climate, sheltered by the Southern Alps. Local wineries produce sublime varietal expressions, including outstanding Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling. The Waipara Valley is an absolute must-visit for lovers of Pinot Noir and Riesling, which you can enjoy in one of several superb winery restaurants, including award-winning Pegasus Bay.
With its extreme climate, Central Otago is one of the world’s top Pinot Noir producers. Tucked in against the Southern Alps, Central Otago is the southernmost wine region in the world. This region enjoys hot, dry summers and crisp, snowy winters, set against a backdrop of soaring snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes, and plunging ravines. Central Otago has 6 sub-regions to explore, each with their own unique terroir and sub-regional expressions, from light, fruit forward wines to rich, brooding drops. Pinot Noir may be the most popular offering here, but you’ll also find fantastic Rieslings and Pinot Gris when you take the time to explore the heart of alpine viticulture on a private tour with Escape NZ.
Escape NZ specialises in luxury wine and culinary experiences led by winemakers, sommeliers and chefs, and luxury short escapes to New Zealand’s leading wine regions. Let us handcraft your dream escape to wine country.