Home to some of the best wineries in New Zealand, the Central Otago region is a must-visit destination for wine connoisseurs. Central Otago’s pinot noirs are a hit around the world. And there’s no better place to savour them than at one of the finest Queenstown wineries!
Want to knock on a few cellar doors during your New Zealand South Island vacation? Plan the ultimate Central Otago wine-tasting adventure. Visit the best vineyards & wineries in Queenstown, New Zealand, with this guide…
Best vineyards & wineries in Queenstown
Gibbston Valley Winery
Looking for an all-around great Queenstown wine experience? Start with Gibbston Valley Winery.
Located less than a half hour from town, this boutique vineyard tosses together an array of activities. From winery tours to cheese samplings, Gibbston Valley offers plenty for visitors
The highlight of any visit to Gibbston Valley Winery is a wine-tasting session in the Wine Cave. After enjoying the most popular Gibbston Valley wines on site, you can also buy a case of your favourites. They’ll ship it back home for you without hassle.
Chard Farm Winery
Want to get (slightly) off-the-beaten-path? Plan a visit to Chard Farm Winery.
Toughing out the unpaved gravel road is well-worth the effort. Arriving at the vineyard, you’ll marvel at scenic views over the mountains & the Kawarau River. Before even embarking on your wine adventure, this winery will make an impression!
The Chard Farm Winery was a pioneer in the Queenstown wine scene. It played a big hand in putting Central Otago and South Island on the map for wine-lovers.
Chard Farm is still one of the only wineries in the area to offer Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. These white wines are far more common in other New Zealand wine-making regions to north like Marlborough, Gisborne, and Hawke’s Bay.
What sticks out to most visitors to Chard Farm is the ambiance. The winery showcases a distinctive salmon-coloured stucco façade. It feels more like a Tuscan villa transplanted to Queenstown than a native New Zealand winery. It’s particularly impressive during winter when the snow casts upon the surrounding hills.
Amisfield Winery & Bistro
Amisfield Winery & Bistro is a favourite viticulture destination for both locals & travellers. The winery offers some of the finest food and wine pairings near Queenstown. It’s also the closest vineyard to central Queenstown. It boasts an enviable location near the shores of beautiful Lake Hayes.
The Amisfield Winery shines most in its pinot noir selection. Their vintages are particularly noteworthy, pleasing the palate with noticeable complexity. When paired with the bistro’s five-course degustation menu, they leave a strong impression.
Peregrine Wines is no stranger to wine-lovers from New Zealand and from abroad. The winery has a battalion of award-winning wines under its belt.
The vineyard rocks an extensive line-up of pinot noirs, Rieslings, chardonnays, and sauvignon blancs. But there’s more to the winery than its excellent selection of wine. Peregrine is simply one of the coolest places to visit in Queenstown.
True to its name, the tasting room of Peregrine Wines sits below a roof crafted to the likeness of a falcon wing. The dramatic slice of modern architecture may not suit every oenophile’s tastes. But there’s no denying it’s eye-catching. It might well place Peregrine as Queenstown’s most distinctive vineyard!
Done sampling Peregrine’s fine wines? Check out its barrel room. The beautiful historic buildings dotting the vineyard are also worth visiting.
Rippon Winery is a fantastic addition to any New Zealand holiday itinerary for wine-lovers. Located on the outskirts of Wanaka, the winery is short drive from Queenstown.
The popular vineyard overlooks beautiful Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps. In fact, with its spectacular views, taking a wine tour here is among the best things to do in Wanaka!
Between December and April, the tasting room of Rippon Winery lets guests sample its inspired pinot noirs with local cheese.
After your tastings, travel to the cellar door at Rippon Hall. Here, you’ll enjoy the vineyard’s breathtaking landscapes from a different angle.
Located in the Gibbston sub-region, Brennan Wines is a boutique vineyard. It produces limited batches with only a handful of varietals.
Although the winery crafts toothsome pinot gris, pinot grigio, and Gewürztraminer wines, its speciality is its pinot noir. In fact, their pinot noir is considered one of the best in New Zealand!
Like many of the most popular wineries & vineyards near Queenstown, Brennan Wines sits upon a stunning parcel of land.
The scenic grounds are a great place to relish wine & cheese pairings. Pack lunchtime snacks and enjoy a picnic while marvelling at views of the surrounding mountains. It’ll make for the perfect day out of Queenstown.
Akarua Winery is among the most popular vineyards in New Zealand. The winery has earned worldwide accolades for its brilliant traditional. Akarua’s specialties include pinot noir, pinot gris, and Riesling wines.
The popular Queenstown winery is located in Bannockburn. The area is one of Central Otago’s sub-regions, known for its warm and dry weather conditions.
You can enjoy Akarua’s finest wines at the main Bannockburn vineyard.
The family-owned Akarua Winery also offers breakfast and lunch at its secondary location. Head towards Arrowtown to revel in a meal with a view at their restaurant, Akarua Wines & Kitchen by Artisan. The restaurant is located on the Arrowtown road north of the beautiful Lake Hayes.
Mt Difficulty Wines
Like Akarua, Mt Difficulty Wines dwells in the sub-region of Bannockburn. This popular winery is another fantastic place to enjoy world-class Central Otago wines. Its vineyards are among the oldest the region, dating back to the 1990s.
The cellar door and tasting rooms at Mt Difficulty Wines are charming. But the most memorable experience here is dining on the outdoor terrace. The scenic views across the valley, in the shadow of the mountains of South Island, are breathtaking.
Wet Jacket Wines
For a unique take on New Zealand wine tours, jet over to Wet Jacket Wines. This popular Central Otago cellar door holds its wine tastings in a 150-year-old woolshed. It’ll add an interesting historical dimension to your visit.
Don’t let the unpretentious feel fool you: Wet Jacket Wines are nothing short of exquisite.
Outside of a handful New Zealand’s most prestigious fine-dining restaurants, Wet Jacket’s best wines are often hard to come by. Visiting not only offers a chance to taste its renowned wine but to snag a bottle to take home with you.