We welcome everyone on our tours from wine anoraks, to those just looking for a fantastic thing to do in Queenstown and Central Otago, to those completely new to the experience of tasting wine.

To help you make the most of your day or evening out with Altitude Tours, the following section introduces you to many of the concepts of tasting wine, how the grapes are grown and how they are lovingly turned into wine. Maybe you want to have a read of these pages before you head out with us or maybe it is something you want to come back to after your day out tasting to put some of the many things you have seen and heard into perspective.

No two wines taste the same and there are a number of factors that differentiate one region from another. Most obvious is the grape variety that is grown in the region. Not all types of grapes can be grown in all areas. Much depends on the climate, whether it is described as maritime (have influences from the sea) or continental. The climate is what is supposed to happen in a region, whereas the weather is what does happen. The weather of a particular year greatly effects how a wine tastes – did it rain a lot, or was there a lot of sun. The soil of the region determines which grapes can grow where also.

Once a wine producer has chosen the grape variety there is then the methods they employ to grow their grapes, known as viticulture, and finally the way they turn their grapes into wine, known as vinification, which can be very different from winery to winery.

Follow some of these pages to learn more about tasting wine and the process of growing and making wine in beautiful Central Otago.