Samuel Dorsi - May 13, 2008

When the popular movie trilogy “Lord of the Rings” appeared, many tourists started seriously considering a visit to New Zealand. The picture presents its pristine beauty and appealing character which is very unique and impossible to forget. The desire for exploring New Zealand is simply overwhelming. Many tourists already know, that this amazing country is not only full of natural wonders; its growing reputation as a wine producer is astonishing. Local Sauvignon Blanc is deemed to be a benchmark for its competitors. And thus, wine tourism, as a specific branch of the tourist industry, has won international acclaim. There are nearly 400 wineries to be found here.


There are several areas which welcome wine tourists from all over the globe. Probably the most famous region is the Marlborough. Many agree that this is the ideal location as it is the New Zealand ‘wine capital’ with over 60 wineries. Local Wairau Valley is perfect for a full-day wine tasting trip. Great examples of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Merlot are to be tasted here. Great wine of this region is also accompanied by local great food. The best time to visit the area is in February, when the infamous Wine and Food Festival takes place. There are several companies that take care of transport around the vineyards which many visitors will appreciate. More adventurous tourists may also rent bikes and thus combine the charming scenery with a bit of physical activity and the great wine.


The second largest wine producing region is Hawke’s Bay. Many of the best wine trails are to be found here, as well as some of New Zealand’s oldest wineries and the largest wine museum. Among other great regions belong Central Otago or the Waiheke Island.

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  1. I totally agree that New Zealand, especially the Marlborough area, is a great hot spot for wine tourism. I took an art/wine tasting tour with Bay Tours in Nelson last October and it was one of the best wine tours I've ever done. I wanted a different kind of wine tour and Bay Tours certainly offered that. It combined a visit to an arts and crafts centre and 3 wineries, all excellent and interesting places to visit, with great wines to sample.

    At the arts and crafts centre, there was a shop called "Cruella De Vil's Natural Fibre Boutique" which had a "Quangle Wangle Hat" Competition on that day. A woman from the local area was inspired by a book written by Edward Lear, called the "Quangle Wangle's Hat" and came up with the idea of holding a hat competition and half of the proceeds went to charity.

    The 3 wineries we visited all offered excellent wine tastings, but the last one, the Stafford Lane Estate, also gave us a sample of dukkah (ground hazelnuts and spices) and feijoa.

    Martina Mc Auley (Ireland)

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