Win­ing, din­ing, walk­ing on new trail

Central Otago Mirror - - OUT & ABOUT - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

Four Cromwell vine­yards have come to­gether to cre­ate the town’s first walk­ing wine trail.

The self-paced eight kilo­me­tre loop trail in­cludes Misha’s Vine­yard, Au­rum Wines, Scott Base and Woo­ing Tree Vine­yard and fol­lows a route through or­chards and around Lake Dun­stan.

Misha Wilkin­son, of Misha’s Vine­yard, said the trail pro­vided an easy way for tourists and lo­cals to nav­i­gate around four of Cen­tral Otago’s premium wine pro­duc­ers by foot, and cap­tured some great scenery along the way.

The to­tal walk­ing time on the trail was about 90 min­utes and could be com­pleted in three and a half hours, as­sum­ing 30-minute stops at each tast­ing room.

The trail time could be ex­tended if a lunch break was in­cluded along the way.

At three of the tast­ing rooms there was lunch and/or plat­ters avail­able or peo­ple could take a pic­nic and find a scenic spot along the way.

‘‘To­gether we of­fer an in­cred­i­bly di­verse range of wines which re­ally show­cases the depth and di­ver­sity of this amaz­ing wine­grow­ing re­gion.‘‘

The ini­tia­tive for the trail was prompted by the in­crease in the num­ber of tast­ing rooms that had opened in close prox­im­ity to Cromwell’s town cen­tre, as well as the rise in tourism across the re­gion. The monthly re­gional tourism es­ti­mates from the Min­istry of Busi­ness, In­no­va­tion and Em­ploy­ment show that the Cen­tral Otago re­gion was up nine per cent to $190 mil­lion in vis­i­tor spend­ing for the year end­ing June 2017. Ac­cord­ing to Tourism New Zealand, 24 per cent of tourists ar­riv­ing in the coun­try take part in a wine ex­pe­ri­ence, up from 13 per cent in 2014, and wine tourists stay longer and spend more than the av­er­age vis­i­tor.

The 4 Bar­rels Walk­ing Wine Trail brochure in­cluded an il­lus­trated trail map de­signed by South Amer­i­can artists Marcelilla Pilla and Le­an­dro Baud, who now lived in New Zealand.

Walk­ers could visit all four tast­ing rooms to gain a stamp on the brochure’s pass­port page in or­der to en­ter the quar­terly draw to win a mixed case of wine from the par­tic­i­pat­ing winer­ies.

The trail is free and the only costs that could be in­curred were wine tast­ing fees (de­pend­ing on the pol­icy of the tast­ing rooms) which are re­deemable on a pur­chase, as well as op­tional food pur­chases.

Carolyn Murray, of Scott Base, Misha Wilkin­son, of Misha’s Vine­yard, Jane Bews, of Woo­ing Tree Vine­yard and Lu­cie Lawrence, of Au­rum Wines.

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