Travel to New Zealand

Where to go, what to see


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Travel to New Zealand While recently visiting the wine regions of New Zealand, I was struck by many things; the incredible advances in their relatively young wine industry, the remarkable potential of their cheese industry and the surprisingly limited accommodations for enotourism are just a few.

With such a beautiful country and so many fine wineries, you might expect New Zealand to be ready for an onslaught of thirsty wine lovers. The truth is that finding a great place to stay in some of the fine wine regions can be a challenge. But that’s not to say that there is nowhere to stay, I did manage to find some real gems out of which to base for visits to great wineries.

Check out the great options, some tips for travel within the country, and some of my favorite wineries to visit.

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  • What a waste. Didn't you sample any SB or Pinot? If not, you missed the whole point.

    Feb 06, 2012 at 2:49 PM

  • Snooth User: Bob N
    373985 97

    You make us want to go back for another visit. . . So many things to see and do there. And the wine and food are fabulous.

    Feb 06, 2012 at 3:13 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 237,022

    You said it Bob, such a lovely country. I'm looking forward to my next visit already, though I have no idea when that might be I'm hoping it's soon!

    Buddy, I tasted several hundred wines while there, they will be published soon, and while that may be the point of most of my travels, if you don't see the beauty in the rest of the country's attractions you might be missing something as well.

    The tasting notes will be coming in articles entitled New Zealand's Great Pinot Noirs and similar.

    Feb 06, 2012 at 3:32 PM

  • Snooth User: kersey
    587516 6

    I've read your on going notes and watched your videos - enjoyed them. Pity you missed Nelson - which is where we live. The wines here have become excellent, huge improvement in style, taste, sophistication since we first arrived 20 years ago. So, indeed - return!

    Feb 06, 2012 at 3:46 PM

  • You missed a lot. As a former resident there you obviously didn't take your time getting to know this beautiful country along with their food, wine and accomodations. Perrigrine makes a great Pinot Noir from Central Otago. Blenheim as well as most of the country have wonderful motels that always include a small kitchenette where you can relax in the morning with your own breakfast, sit out in the evening with a bottle of wine and nibbles. Like their cheese which is real unlike here with all our coloring and preservatives. In Martinborough you missed a charming local town called Graytown which has some great restaurants. You also missed out on Napier which has a huge wine industry. As for other things to do, the country is loaded with hiking tracks so that you can get out and view their fantastic countryside. They are surrounded with beautiful beaches as well. You might want to get a little better prepared for your next trip there. What about their Sauvignon Blancs, fabulous!!!

    Feb 06, 2012 at 3:51 PM

  • Nice little snapshot and interesting selection of wineries, perhaps not what I would have selected but good just the same. Having lived here for 6 years and been to these places numerous times I can well recommend an extended visit. I would also say even if you are not a Sav Blanc fan there is plenty to keep you interested in each area. GDP I look forward to the notes, let me know when you come to Auckland I would love to have a glass or two with you and talk wine (what else!)

    Feb 06, 2012 at 3:53 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 237,022

    Hi Kersey, I managed to drive through Nelson with stops of Neudorf ( one of my favorites) and both Te Mania and Richmond Plains. I'll be sure to spend more time there on my next trip back!

    Wendy, I missed a lot? Really? Obviously i didn't take the time, since spent 2 weeks there, i visited over 2 dozen wineries, and tasted over 400 wines. Drove 10 hours and took 9 flights around the country visiting Auckland, Gisborne, Christchurch, Central Otago, Marlbrough, Nelson, Martinborough and Hawkes Bay. It's a big country! What exactly do you expect? The Spanish inquisition?


    Thanks very much. Notes will be coming soon-ish. Lot's to write up. That's the beauty of wine, we all have our favorites and we're all right! I would love to hear more about your favorites. and the next time I'm in Auckland I'll be shooting you an email to set up that glass of wine!

    Feb 06, 2012 at 5:23 PM

  • I would add to my note above that we thought the Pinot's from Otago were good, but not great, especially at about $40. Since we are not fans of US domestic SB's regardless where they are from, the discovery of the Marlborough SB's, especially the Awatere Valley, was delightful and enlightening. Our trip was Nov 2010 and since then we may have tried 2 or 3 dozen of the varietal. This is but a drop in the bucket of the many wineries but we like it so well for sipping or with fish, etc, we now rarely drink chard. You owe it to all of us to take a tasting trip. (Can I go with you?)

    Feb 06, 2012 at 5:36 PM

  • My wife and I visited New Zealand several years ago and had little problem finding some terrific B&Bs to stay, with plenty of Alpine wilderness and glorious agricultural country in the mix. The wines are very high qulaity on average and ther are some eleven areas-some of which you missed in this trip, When we visited, we had introductions from Oregon winemaker friends and went to about 45 greta wineries. Sauvignon Blance, especially led by Cloudy Bay put NZ on the world wine map; however,the Pinot Noirs now rival Burgundy and Oregon. did you try Felton Road? Martinborough? Dry river, which is a cult wine of world class quality Pinot Noir. The Hawkes Bay Region and Wahikile island do Cabs. Merlots, Syrahs, chardonnays and more -all of exception al quality.Because this is a thinly populated country, it may require a little more planning to visit and find stays. but there are websites galore to hlp-just don;t expect napa Valley and I hope it never reaches the crass commercialism so typical of that corwded eno-tour bus
    environment-overcrowded and overpriced. A litlle more and better research would have helped a wine tour-the Kiwis are very friendly and hospitable-just don;t play the pompous American with a condescending attitude-they really have their British heritage pride and sense of acccmplishment for their lifestyle and their winemaking skill.

    Feb 06, 2012 at 6:38 PM

  • best wines PN and SB are from Marlborough

    Feb 07, 2012 at 5:03 AM

  • best makers in kiwi anyway are ATa Rangi , Palliser/Pencarrow, Nautilus Estate ( value ), Cloudy Bay , Dog point and by the way had a great Martinborough Vyd Pinot in tassie last week !

    Feb 07, 2012 at 5:05 AM

  • Snooth User: poohbah
    319925 40

    I prefer martinborough or Central Otago Pinot Noir to Marlborough. Certainly you can't go wrong with Dog Point, Cloudy bay or Craggy Range.

    Feb 10, 2012 at 11:04 PM

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