There are more than 230 wineries on the 380-kilometre Classic New Zealand Wine Trail, with over 100 of those ready to welcome you for a tasting
Red, White and Kiwi – 5 Great Ways to Wine in New Zealand
New Zealand wines have gained international recognition for excellence. More and more visitors to New Zealand want to experience the wines in unique ways. Below are the top five ways to experience wine in New Zealand.
Classic New Zealand Wine Trail
There are more than 230 wineries on the 380-kilometre Classic New Zealand Wine Trail, with over 100 of those ready to welcome you for a tasting. The self-drive route covers the regions of Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa, Wellington and Marlborough. You don’t have to worry about getting lost because along the way there are road signs with images of grapes. No matter what your wine knowledge, visiting cellar doors in New Zealand is an exceptional experience. More often than not, the winemaker is on hand and ready to chat.
One of the easiest and most fun ways to sample New Zealand wines and to visit the vineyards is to take a guided tour. An experienced guide who knows the area and the history of the vineyards adds a level of depth to the tour that is exceptional. And it is always good to have a designated driver along while you taste. One of the more unique ways is with Funny French Cars in the Central Otago region. Jump into a 1940s-looking Citroen convertible and visit many of the region’s boutique wineries with a fun-loving and experienced guide.
New Zealand has several exceptional wine and food festivals that will make your taste buds sing. The Hot Red Hawke’s Bay Expo is in Auckland on July 31, 2012, showcasing over 100 of the best wines from over 20 Hawke’s Bay wineries. Hawke’s Bay is the host for the inaugural Food and Wine Classic (FAWC) from November 2 to 11, 2012. On November 15, 2012 the Taste of Auckland offers amazing wine and food to taste. If you love pinot, Wellington hosts Pinot Noir 2013 from January 28 to 31. The Marlborough Wine Festival showcases over 200 wines from more than 40 Marlborough wineries on February 9, 2013.
Stay at a Vineyard
Staying at a B&B, cottage or boutique hotel that is housed at a vineyard is a great way to enjoy the grapes of New Zealand. Imagine sipping several vintages of pinot noir from a vineyard where you are staying and deciding which is your favourite. You can see what life is really like at a vineyard and hear stories from the locals, while you sip on boutique wine born from the earth under your feet.
Bicycle Between Vineyards
One option for making wine tasting even more enjoyable is to leave your car at your accommodation and rent a bicycle for the day. There are many companies that offer guided bike tours along the wine trail. You cycle, take in the scenery, stop for a tasting, learn about the region, cycle some more, and stop for another tasting. It’s a great way to experience New Zealand.
Air New Zealand (www.airnewzealand.ca) has direct non-stop flights from Vancouver to Auckland and offers flights from many other North American cities. For more information about New Zealand, please visit: www.NewZealand.com.
Items of notes and interest from the web.