【Day 2】Drive from Queenstown to Cromwell
Day 1 we visited 3 wineries (Amisfield, Chard Farm, Gibbston Valley) that are closer to Queenstown and stopped at Arrow Town and AJ Hackett Bungee Centre before heading back to Queenstown. If you are interested, you can read about my day 1 trip here.
Day 2 we drove from Queenstown to Cromwell and stayed a night in a vineyard Airbnb.
- Wine Tasting 4: Peregrine Wines (Award-winning winery, beautiful cellar door)
- Wine Tasting 5: Valli Wine (won “Best Pinot Noir” 4 times in a row)
- See: Roaring Meg Lookout (watch the turbulent stream that drives a hydro-electric power station)
- Wine Tasting 6: Misha’s Vineyard Tasting Room
- Spend a night in Cromwell
1. Wine Tasting: Peregrine Wines
Just 20 minutes drive from Queenstown, Peregrine Wines is hard to miss when you drive past the main road. The winery building is designed to evoke the rotation of a falcon’s wing in flight and has won multiple architecture awards. The beautiful tasting room is overlooking the barrel room.
Since 1998, Peregrine has been one of NZ’s most highly regarded producers focusing on Pinot Noir, and other white wines aromatic white wines like Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Rose and Methode Traditionelle sparkling wine.
What did I like?
- 2011 Peregrine Pinot Noir (Limited Re-release) $65 – intense and beautiful, earthy nose of mushrooms, red fruits and wild strawberries on the palate with a hint of floral note.
- 2015 Peregrine Pinot Noir $45 – darker fruits compared to 2011, intense aroma of dark and red berries, good concentration with a smooth finish.
- Open daily 11am – 6pm
- Tasting fee: Free
2. Wine Tasting: Valli Vineyard
Another notable winery in Central Otago, Valli’s winemaker Grant Taylor is one of New Zealand’s most awarded Pinot Noir winemakers, credited to win the ‘Best Pinot Noir’ at a major International Wine Competition in London an unprecedented 4 times – a feat achieved by no other winemaker in the world.
Tasting is by appointment only, however, the easiest way is to go to next door Kinross Cottages. Kinross Cottages serves as the cellar door for 5 premium Central Otago wine brands, including Valli. We had our tasting there and ordered some woodfire pizza for lunch!
Valli also produces Single-Vineyard Pinot Noirs from Bannockburn, Bendigo and the Waitaki Valley. It was a good chance to taste all the different Pinot Noirs from the different subregion of Central Otago.
- Tasting fee of 5 premium Valli wines at Kinross Cottages: $20 (Waive on $75 wine purchase)
Wines to note:
- 2017 Valli Waitaki Vineyard Riesling ($30) – pale green, delicate nose of white and yellow stone fruits, off-dry, juicy red apple, zesty lime and mineral. Perfect with Thai curry.
- 2016 Valli Waitaki Vineyard Pinot Noir ($69) – red fruits and green peppercorn nose, lightly spiced, delicate red fruits and liquorice on the palate. A soft red fruit bomb.
- 2016 Valli Bannockburn Pinot Noir ($69) – Thyme and wildflowers, full and juicy, hint of cigar.
- 2016 Valli Gibbston Vineyard Pinot Noir ($69) – won “World’s Best Pinot Noir” in the past vintages.
3: See: Roaring Meg Lookout
If you keep driving towards Cromwell, you’ll pass by Roaring Meg Lookout. That beautiful roaring streams of water drive a hydro-electric power station. We stopped for a while to feel the roar and took some pictures
4. Wine Tasting: Misha’s Vineyard
Another 12 minutes drive from Roaring Meg Lookout there we arrived at Misha’s tasting room.
A fairly new player in Central Otago but Misha’s Vineyard has already been named as one of New Zealand’s Top 20 Producers by Decanter UK.
Wines To Note:
- 2014 “Limelight” Riesling $28 – pale yellow, medium dry, lime and flinty note, vibrant acidity.
- 2014 “High Note” Pinot Noir $45 – dark and red berries, cinnamon and sweet spice. Full and ripe.
- Open daily 10am – 4pm
- Tasting Fee: $10 for 5 choices of wines (refundable upon purchase)
5. Stay: Vineyard Airbnb In Central Otago
We stayed at Vines On Bannockburn Airbnb for a night at SGD$150. Clean and comfortable room with big bathroom, the property is situated right in the vineyard. Breakfast was provided by the host!
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Read Next: Central Otago Wine Post:
- Day 3 of 5 – Wine tasting at Felton Rd, Mt Difficulty. See Cromwell town
- Day 4 of 5 – Wine tasting at Domaine Thomson, Aurum. Hike up to the 45th parallel
- Day 5 of 5 – Wine tasting at Rippon Winery, See Cardrona Bra Fence