Make it a mis­sion to visit one or two of New Zealand’s fab­u­lous vine­yards this sum­mer – and why not stop for lunch?

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS - With EMMA JENK­INS

Imight be bi­ased, but vis­it­ing a win­ery is surely a great way to spend some time this sum­mer. Af­ter all, what bet­ter way to learn about New Zealand’s world-class wines, take in a breath of fresh vine­yard air and have a bit of fun along the way? You can dis­cover the birth­place of your favourite wine, ad­mire some ex­cel­lent ar­chi­tec­ture, and typ­i­cally you can also ex­pect to eat de­li­cious food and meet friendly peo­ple.

Our beau­ti­ful wine re­gions boast a wide ar­ray of cel­lar doors rang­ing in size and so­phis­ti­ca­tion, with oc­ca­sional bonuses such as art gal­leries, farm­ers mar­kets, cheeseries or ac­com­mo­da­tion. Some of the na­tion’s best chefs are found in win­ery restau­rants, pro­vid­ing ev­ery­thing from ca­sual brunches through to sump­tu­ous 10-course de­gus­ta­tion din­ing.

Win­ery peo­ple love shar­ing their en­thu­si­asm and knowl­edge. Of­ten there are “cel­lar door only” wines open for tast­ing – these may be un­usual va­ri­eties, spe­cial projects be­ing tri­alled by wine­mak­ers, or just wines made in tiny vol­umes. Many winer­ies will also of­fer tastes of sought-af­ter, ex­pen­sive wines for small (of­ten re­fund­able­upon-pur­chase) fees, which can be a great way to ex­pe­ri­ence a wine that might oth­er­wise be out of reach.

Our larger wine re­gions – Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough and Cen­tral Otago – host a mul­ti­tude of win­ery-based events through­out the year, plus there is a huge range of wine tours avail­able, from lim­ou­sines to cy­cle trails. Com­pact wine re­gions such as Waipara, Nel­son, Wairarapa and Gis­borne make it easy to visit many pro­duc­ers in a short time, and there is no deny­ing the spec­tac­u­lar scenery when vis­it­ing winer­ies on Auck­land’s Wai­heke Is­land.

This sum­mer, whether you’re stay­ing at home or trav­el­ling fur­ther afield, do be sure to check out things ahead on­line as there are nu­mer­ous food and wine festivals, con­certs and other fab­u­lous win­ery events around the coun­try that will pro­vide even more fun in the sun.

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