11. The Winery Arrowtown
Renowned for showcasing the very best of New Zealand’s boutique wine scene, Queenstown’s The Winery ( thewinery.co.nz) has long been a favourite haunt for wine-enthusiastic tourists and locals alike – so much so, they’ve opened a second outpost in beautiful, historic Arrowtown in the Otago wine region. Effectively centralising the cellar door experience, over 80 wines are conveniently available for tasting under the Enomatic system; over 1,000 in stock. It’s a real ‘kid in a candy shop’ type experience – be sure to savour it (and try not to get overexcited). DOM SWEENEY
TIP: Keep an eye out for ‘Amy Winedub’, the Winery team’s modded, mobile wine tasting 1958 Kombi.
12. Get to Greenock
Next time you find yourself in the Barossa, devote a day to exploring the charming town of Greenock. Book in for lunch at local favourite El Estanco ( elestanco.com.au), where you’ll be treated to seasonal South American-influenced fare by owners and chefs Abby Osborne and Julian Velasquez. Check out their popular Friday Fiesta or Little & Local tasting events, which bring together the best of the Barossa’s new wave wine producers. Just down the road you’ll also find the picturesque cellar door of Alkina Wines ( alkinawine.com). Housed in a restored stone barn from the 1850s, it’s a surprisingly modern spot to sip. The wines are all elegant expressions of the Barossa, with Alkina focused on reflecting site, and crafting biodynamic and organic wines. AMY NORTHCOTT
TIP: The sun-drenched courtyard is the perfect spot to enjoy a chilled glass of the 2020 Kin Grenache.
13. A City Love Affair
Maeve Wine Bar ( maeve.wine) has long been a dependable companion for quality dining in Brisbane. After entering up the maroon staircase, you’ll arrive at the heritage listed room, which was once the Queensland National Bank – the city has few buildings with quite the same charisma. Then prepare for the sophisticated offering that ensues. Perched over the arts and theatre precinct, it is just as easy to get lost in the classic ambience as it is the succinct wine list. The offering of both bottles and glasses is refined, diverse and well-executed. It accompanies a menu of flavoursome small and large dishes that induce a thirst for another glass. OLIVIA EVANS
TIP: Order the hand-filleted Spanish anchovies with sherry vinegar, honey and pickled kiss peppers.
14. Pedal through the Pinot
On the doorstep to New Zealand’s adventure capital Queenstown is Gibbston, birthplace of the Central Otago wine industry and home to many of the region’s heavy hitters. Book a ride with Better by Bikes based in the nearby historic mining village of Arrowtown and enjoy your self-guided journey through the vines. Be sure to make it to Kinross ( kinross.nz), where you can taste wines from five local wineries, including the personal labels of Otago winemaking pioneers Grant Taylor (Valli Wine) and Alan Brady (Wild Irishman). They have bistro dining and vineyard accommodation on-site. HOLLIS GIDDENS
TIP: Gibbston Valley Wines ( gibbstonvalley.com) has bike hire, bistro dining, and tastings conveniently located in one spot.
15. Pinot Palooza
Welcome back everyone’s favourite pinot celebration: Pinot Palooza ( pinotpalooza.com.au). It’s been more than two years since the last Australian event, and oh my, the team are certainly going to make up for lost time. Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane are included in the tour, which brings together all the best producers of the much-loved pinot noir from across Australia and the globe. Wander through the pinot jungle at your leisure, stopping for a taste and chat at the winery stalls. Or if you have some curly questions you need answered, you could take in the free Q+As with the winemakers. So, grab your fellow pinot fanatics, May and June will be busy months. AMY NORTHCOTT
TIP: Your ticket includes a free glass so you can spend quality time swirling, sniffing and sipping.
16. Summer Lunch at the Martinborough Hotel
One of the silver linings for Kiwis holidaying domestically for the past year has been the discovery and celebration of iconic venues and regions on our doorstep – the beautiful township of Martinborough has been one such benefactor. Nestled in the heart of one of the New World’s top pinot noir regions, the Martinborough Hotel ( martinboroughhotel.co.nz) has emerged as a rural icon. The dining room and front bar are ornate and nostalgic, and the team pride themselves on celebrating all things local. JULIAN GROUNDS
TIP: What better way to drink back vintage from any number of iconic producers than on the promenade across from the famous town square?
17. Wines and Craft
Nestled in the Piccadilly Valley, the CRFT Wines ( crftwines.com.au) tasting room is the ultimate spot to experience the Adelaide Hills. Owners Candice Helbig and Frewin Ries have captured the beauty of the Hills with their space: lush plants and vintage furniture paired with gorgeous views of the vineyard. Be sure to snag a seat outside or at the window and let your host guide you through the portfolio, featuring single-vineyard wines from the Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley and Eden Valley. CRFT Wines is part of the Piccadilly Trail, a cellar door route showcasing the exciting subregion that also features locals Ashton Hills, Greenhill Wines and Tapanappa. AMY NORTHCOTT
TIP: Try a locally sourced platter with your tasting, including the ‘My Grandma Ben’ Zucchini Pickles.
18. Chardonnay and
Pinot in Nelson
Prolific Nelson producer Neudorf Vineyards ( neudorf.co.nz) celebrated its 40th vintage in 2021 and recently transformed co-founder Tim Finn’s Old Lab into a five-seater, private tasting room, providing guests with an intimate insight into its world-class chardonnay and pinot noir. Be it a vertical flight of the revered Moutere Chardonnay or an indepth look at how the uniquely structured pinot noir evolves over time, you’ll come away with an elevated level of enthusiasm for this beautiful little wine region on the north-western tip of the South Island. They’ve even stocked the stemware racks with Jancis Robinson’s One Glasses for the purest olfactory experience. DOM SWEENEY
TIP: Combine your visit with some sea-and-tree time in the stunning Abel Tasman National Park, just a 40-minute drive north.
19. Glamping in the Hunter
It’s glamping, but with a wine country twist at Boydell’s ( boydells.com.au). Their Eco African Safari Tent immerses you in the beauty of the Hunter Valley, with stunning views of the Boydell’s property. There’s no need to worry about neighbours either; with just the one tent and only yourself and the local wildlife, the term ‘private’ is taken to a new level, making for a very tranquil experience. The luxe king bed, tastefully designed interior, copper bath and outdoor deck are just the beginning – the property is yours for your stay, too, meaning you can take a stroll and explore the vines and bush, or even take a dip in the nearby Allyn River. AMY NORTHCOTT
TIP: Be sure to devote an afternoon for lunch and a tasting at the Boydell’s Cellar Door and Restaurant.
20. Huntington Estate Garden Bar
Long-time Mudgee favourite Huntington Estate’s Garden Bar is back and possibly the most sophisticated food truck experience you’ll ever have ( huntingtonestate.com.au). One weekend a month, get stuck into the rotating roster of sensational street food. Anyone familiar with the grounds at Huntington will know too well its idyllic appeal – not least on a balmy Friday or Saturday evening with live music setting the tone beneath a clear summer night sky. Definitive proof that low key wine experiences are often the most memorable. DOM SWEENEY
TIP: Huntington’s wines offer incredible cellar potential; save some space in the boot for a few bottles. The Estate Shiraz Cabernet is a favourite.
Photography by Meaghan Coles, Andy Ellis, Miles Holden and James Broadway, DOM CHERRY and Courtesy of THE WINERY ARROWTOWN, Maeve Wine Bar, Martinborough Hotel, Neudorf AND HUNTINGTON ESTATE.