Destinations

Central Otago

Gold Class.

Central Otago is a vast open landscape between Dunedin on the East Coast and Fiordland on the West Coast of New Zealand. It’s famous for long wide vistas, hot weather and the ideal Altitude (no pun intended) and temperature for growing stone fruit and grapes.

There is no surprise why Central Otago now produces world class pinot noir and has architecturally designed cellar doors throughout. This location is a wine lovers paradise, mixing great wine with great food and service. Central Otago is also steeped in history with gold miners travelling from all over the world in the 1860’s. Gold can still be found today in many of the rivers and soil through the area for anyone willing to pick up a gold pan or shovel.

  • Wine tasting with a view
  • Knowledgeable cellar door hosts
  • Mishas Pinot Noir
  • Tasting Central Otago wines
  • Vineyards and Lakes
  • Te Kano Winery
  • Central Otago Tours.

    Wine Tours

    Central Otago Full Day Wine Tour

    Visit four of Central Otago’s finest and off the beaten track cellar doors.

    ADULT
    NZD $275
    DURATION
    8 Hours

    Central Otago FAQ's

    There are many award winning wineries in Central Otago. Some of the top wineries would include Valli & The Wild Irishman which can both be tasted at Kinross Cellar door. Some other heavy hitters include Gibbston Valley Wines, Mt Difficulty and Quartz Reef. Jump on an epic wine tour from Queenstown to explore these great wines.

    There are many Pinot Noir producers in Central Otago because of the optimal climate for growing this variety. The wineries that have topped the International competitors include Gibbston Valley Wines & Valli. Valli’s winemaker Grant Taylor has been awarded the best Pinot Noir in the world four times.

    Staying in-between the vines has become even easier with wineries having accommodation right on site, check out Gibbston Valley Lodge & Kinross in Gibbston, the heart of Pinot Noir country. If you are looking for something a little closer to Queenstown check out Stoneridge Estate with picturesque views of Lake Hayes.

    With so many great wines in Central Otago, you can’t go past a wine tour that will take you to some of the best wineries in Central Otago. Craft beer is booming in Central Otago so why not jump on a Craft beer tour as well.

    If adrenaline is more your speed we recommend you check out Everything Queenstown which has the largest and most comprehensive range of things to do in Central Otago. In the adventure capital you can bungy, jet boat, go canyoning & go karting. 

    Pinot Noir grapes grow excellently in Central Otago because of the terroir; this includes the weather, soil and latitude. Central Otago sits on the 45th latitude as all top performing Pinot Noir regions of the world sit. Central Otago’s cool climate suits Pinot Noir as it is a delicate grape variety with a thin skin that can’t protect itself in warmer climates.

    Central Otago has a continental climate with hot summer days, great for ripening grapes and cool summer nights which locks in acid to give wines complexity & structure.

    If you ask wine experts around the world they will know of Central Otago’s Pinot Noir, as Central Otago is ranked in the top three Pinot Noir regions of the world. It also is the location for Tripadvisors ‘Best Wine Tour in the World’. Along with Pinot Noir other related Pinot varieties perform well including Pinot Gris & Pinot Blanc. And of course some amazing Rosé’s made from Pinot Noir. 

    There are many scenic tours & activities that can be accessed in Central Otago; if you’re looking for adrenaline get extreme at the AJ Hackett Bungy, or jet boating & off road buggies at Oxbow, also go karting at Highlands Motorsports. If something slower is more your style, taste Gin’s on New Zealand’s first gin tour with Altitude tours. For a full overview of activities and tours for the Central Otago area check out Everything Queenstown. 

    Central Otago can be enjoyed at all times of the year, especially the wines. The two peak seasons for visitors in Central Otago are Winter for the ski season (June – September) and Summer (December – April).

    Maybe they will, but is that really a bad thing?! 

    No need to worry if you don’t want to push your limits with adrenaline in Central Otago, there will always be someone responsible; however the locals will tempt you to make memories & try new experiences.

    No need to bring extra luggage for your wines to transport home, all the wineries in Central Otago deliver within New Zealand and most will deliver internationally.

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