Industry journal Drinks International recently published their list of the world’s fifty most admired wine brands, and it’s no surprise to see that a few names from the New Zealand wine industry made the list.
If you’re planning on taking some cheap flights to New Zealand this year, take some time out to relax and enjoy your favourite wine: at the chateau itself.
Jackson’s Road, Blenheim, Marlborough
When people think of New Zealand wines, they think of Sauvignon Blanc. And when Cloudy Bay started producing their Sauvignon Blanc they really set the bar high for other New World whites. Even the French are interested, with Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey owning a controlling interest.
Cloudy Bay still welcome visitors to their cellar door, and have a number of tasting options for oenophiles: including an exclusive sommelier lunch experience. It’s enough to make you want to book a place on Qantas right away.
180 Brancott Road, Blenheim, Marlborough
This Marlborough based producer has really embraced modern technology, with their chief winemaker chatting to fans of the brand on Twitter and an iPhone app which really brings their bottles to life.
Their heritage center serves up seasonal, local produce in its restaurant: perfect for lining your stomach before embarking on a vineyard and tasting tour. Who knows, you might even catch a glimpse of the endangered New Zealand Falcon.
211 New Renwick Road, Fairhall, Marlborough
Another awesome Marlborough vineyeard, the Wither Hills winery is a must visit for people who love contemporary yet sophisticated design. Wither Hills wine launched in 1994, and since then has become one of the most admired brands in the region.
The relaxed atmosphere of the vineyard is perfect for sampling the wines before enjoying an al fresco dinner in the garden. If you like to educate yourself whilst on holiday, the Wither Hills vine library is the perfect place to learn about wine grapes.
Station Road, Huapai
Yes, there are some great wineries outside of Marlborough. The Nobilo Estate is located a short jaunt from Auckland.
Founded by Croation immigrant Nikola Nobilo in the 1940’s, Nobilo wines are one of New Zealand’s oldest and best respected labels. The winery is so respected that Nikola was awarded an OBE for services to the viticulture industry in 1995: perhaps one of the coolest honours out there.
Despite being owned by the massive Constellation brand, wine tasting at the House of Nobilo estate still feels like an intimate experience. The cellar is ambient, staff are friendly and hospitable, and best of all- it’s free to sample the wines.
With so many other great producers such as Kumala, Billa Maria, Babich, and Oyster Bay, you could spend a very happy holiday in New Zealand sampling the local wines.