where was I?
Yes wineries, far more interesting than wargaming or golf.
The main reason for the trip was to sample some of Central Otago’s lovely wines, in particular I was keen on sampling a few more Pinot Noirs whilst Nicki, my wife was on the look out for some whites.
The wineries are quite spread out when compared to other NZ wine growing regions like Hawke’s Bay and Martinborough for example. We found this link pretty handy in planning ourvisits. http://www.centralotagopinot.co.nz/winemap.html
On the Tuesday we drove to Cromwell initially stopping at Wooing Tree Vineyard before going on to Rockburn Winery. Wooing tree make a rather nice Pinot by the name of Beetlejuice, I gather named after the rare and endangered Chafer beetle – “The flightless Cromwell chafer beetle (Prodontria lewisii) is restricted to a small area near Cromwell in Central Otago. The adults live in shallow loamy sands, emerging at night during spring and summer to eat plants and lichens. Little is known about the larvae, and no pupae have ever been seen.” I understand a reserve was set up in 1979 to ensure its survival. Could this be a very special “reserve” wine?
From Rockburn it was onto one of NZ more famous wineries Mount Difficulty for lunch. The views from the winery were rather special but I’m afraid my photography really doesn’t do it justice. This is Lake Dunstan area and we were fortunate to be there on a glorious day. Driving to Cromwell from Arrowtown takes you through the Kawarau Gorge and here you get to see Roaring Meg, a stream that provides hydroelectric power and also lends its name to one of Mt Difficulty winery’s cheaper wines
Kawarau Gorge, Roaring Meg and views from Mount Difficulty Winery
At Mount Difficulty I sampled the Long Gully and Target Gully Pinot Noirs but didn’t make any purchases as they cost quite a bit more than I would normally pay for a bottle.
It was then on to Akarua Winery where I was tempted to sign up for their wine club and finally onto Amisfield. Now I’m told that Wills and Kate were there recently, I wonder if they liked their Fume Sauvignon Blanc as much as I did?
I suppose they managed to get past these guys without any hassle
Day two saw us take an organised wine tour with a company, this meant that I could sample and drink rather than sample and spit as I wasn’t driving. The tour took us to Peregrine initially where I was in heaven (see last post) then Carrick for lunch. Again this was a lovely setting overlooking part of Lake Dunstan. The wine was excellent and here I really found a Pinot Gris that was especially good – it must have been as I ordered a glass with my lunch rather than a Pinot Noir
At Carrick I got to see some wildlife and talked to a local
Next it was Aurum Winery http://www.aurumwines.co.nz/ this was the real “find”of the week with some superb wines including a very good and nicely priced Pinot at $NZ35 and some delicious dessert wines. Needles to say as I write a mixed case is in transit!
Day 3 saw us on our own again and on our way to a winery at 11am, guilt or fatigue set in so we took a quick (but rather long as it turned out) detour to Wanaka via the Crown Range. Take a look at this, Queenstown in the distance, this is ski country
A brief Coffee stop at Wanaka, an injustice to such a lovely place
Then back around via the Cromwell Basin and 3 more wineries (I’m not going to mention any more or you’ll think I’m a pisshead) before the rental gave out on us
Finally the proof that I really couldn’t have drunk that much on this trip……
There was no way that Mr Hackett was going to tie an elastic band around my ankles and get me to jump off this….
Central Otago – superb, we’ll be back