grape escape

9 Day Food and Wine Tour of New Zealand:
Visiting, Nelson, Marlborough and Central Otago, Queenstown, Christchurch and Waipara

Tour Departing 11th March 2011 enquire now

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9 Day New Zealand Food and Wine Tour of Nelson, Marlborough, Queenstown Central Otago, Christchurch and Waipara

Day 1: Nelson 02 FEB
Abel Tasman National Park

Accommodation 2 Nights Apartment Little Kaiteriteri
We take an early morning flight to the beautiful region of Nelson arriving mid morning, allowing enough time to wander around the City of Nelson.

Mid day we dine at the Boat Shed Restaurant and Cafe. Their passion for food is reflected in their menus which combine Mediterranean with a Pacific Rim blend which come together in a fusion of food styles. The Boat Sheds team of chefs are currently experimenting with Kai Aotearoa (traditional Maori cuisine) and believe that New Zealand is entering an indigenous food revolution which they see as becoming more prolific in restaurants here.

After lunch we travel to our accommodation in Little Kaiteriteri at the beggining of the Abel Tasman park taking time to stop and check out local food producers and arts and crafts.

This evening we relax at our lodge.

DAY 2: Nelson
Abel Tasman National Park

Take time out and explore the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park visiting pristine beaches and bays. Choose from walking, a boat cruise or a guided sea kayaking trip with Wilson's Experiences Abel Tasman.

Day 3: Marlborough
Herzog Degustation Dinner

Accommodation 2 Nights Rockferry Cottage

Early morning we drive to Marlborough arriving 11am in Renwick. Take time to relax by the pool or walk to 3 wineries close by. 

Early evening we drive to Herzog for Kitchen Confidential followed by a 7 course degustation dinner.This is the ultimate “behind the scenes” experience for a total insight into the live kitchen world! We will join Michelin star practised chefs  from 5pm to observe how they run their mise en place and prepare for the coming service.   Herzogs chefs are keen to explain everything to you while they work. Watch them creating the gourmet menu’s many components, from breads and appetizers to friandises, and witness the first orders going out. Then it’s our turn to head out to the restaurant for some serious pampering!

Day 4: Blenheim (Marlborough)
Vineyard Tour Marlborough

The morning is yours. Late morning we pay a visit to winery Domaine Georges Michel where you will taste some of Marlborough's most stunning Pinot's, Chardonnay's and Sauvignon Blanc.

Lunch is next door at La Veranda.

Villa Maria is George Fistonich's award winning wine group founded in 1962. Villa is 100% Kiwi owned and has been New Zealand's most consistent wine award winner since the 80s. Taste wines from Marlborough as well as Gisborne and Hawke's Bay.

Next stop Cloudy Bay. No other Kiwi wine has found such a following, continually the most sought after Sauvignon Blanc in the world. Cloudy Bay was masterminded by David Hohnen and realised by Kevin Judd. Taste the well balanced Sauvignon that has put the winery on the world map in such a short time.

Winemaker Hatsch Kalberer has formed a dynamic team at Fromm to produce exceptionally full-flavoured wines. The emphasis may be on Pinot Noir, but he produces an eclectic range of wines, with Sangiovese in the pipeline.

Framingham is an exceptional boutique winery producing fruity styled Sauvignon, Alsatian style Riesling and Gewürztraminer, watch out for the new release 2001 Montepulciano. Rex and Paula Brooke Taylor established this vineyard in 1981 only to release their wines under the Framingham label in 1994.

Wairau River has a fantastic range of aromatic wines and Sauvignon Blanc. Try their Stump Creek Pinot Noir soft cherry fruit and toffee flavours.

Day 5: Waipara
Wine Tour

Accommodation 2 Nights The Novotel Hotel

We leave Marlborough and travel down the east coast to Christchurch via Waipara.

Waipara is renowned for its Riesling's and spicy Pinot Noir's. With its predominantly chalky, loamy and enriched limestone soil, the wines from this region display rich, intense, full-bodied wines.

Established in 1986, Daniel Schuster Wines Ltd is a small, quality- focused producer of classically structured wines with individual character that reflects the unique growing conditions of their Estate Vineyards.  I love Daniels wines they express everything a good wine should be. They are made to age gracefully but still quite drinkable now my particular favourite is his Riesling a variety that just excels in Waipara.

Pegasus Bays intention, is to give their diners a total food and wine experience. They have an emphasis on freshness and simplicity, using predominantly locally grown ingredients. The menu is created around their wine list, with each dish matched with a suggested wine. Last time we dined at Pegasus we enjoyed the beef with a Pegasus Bay 1991 Cabernet Merlot blend it was outstanding and an amazing match with our food.

We spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the Waipara Valley.

This evening we will dine at the world-renowned, "Pescatore Restaurant" located in our hotel.

Pescatore has a commitment to excellence and has won international recognition for its inspirational cuisine and fine Pacific Rim dinning! I am a big fan of the Evolution Menu a nine course, degustation gastronomic delight, you will need to loosen your belt for this. Bon Appétit!

Day 6: Christchurch

Christchurch City


Early morning we fly to Christchurch City. The  English garden city of Christchurch is treasured by locals and all who visit. Our city tour begins with a brief orientation and city highlight overview. During your tour, you will see Cathedral Square, Victoria Square, Thomas Edmonds former the Band rotunda (now a restaurant) and the Avon River, Town Hall, the Floral Clock, Law Courts, Provincial Chambers, Christ's College Museum, Botanical Gardens, Arts Centre, Worcester Boulevard and the Bridge of Remembrance. Mid morning we take a punt ride along the Avon River. We start from the historic Antigua Boat Sheds you will drift past the quaint Curator's House restaurant, then through Hagley Park and the leafy Botanic Gardens. The ride goes up past the Woodland Bridge and the Bandsmen's Memorial Rotunda. Along the river you see a variety of wildlife: swans, scaup ducks, paradise shellducks, grey and mallard ducks, eels and trout. Lunch will be at the Aintigua Boat Shed Cafe. You will have the rest of the afternoon to explore and enjoy the beautiful city as you wish. Explore Canterbury Museum or take a stroll though Hagley Park.

This evening we dine at Saggio di Vino. Owners Lisa and Yommi believe in cooking seasonally, sourcing the freshest produce from asparagus and berries in summer to oysters and porcini in autumn. And of course there are the truffles – a rare treat in the cool winter months and incredibly sought after.

Day: 7 Queenstown

Accommodation 3 Nights The Esplanade

We take an early morning flight to Queenstown arriving mid morning. We spend the rest of the morning exploring Queenstown. This afternoon we travel out to Arrowtown an historic gold mining town and a great place to spend the afternoon shopping and exploring local history.

Tonight we dine at The Post Masters House Arrowtown. This is such a delightful restaurant that i just cant keep away whenever I go to Arrowtown.

Day: 8 Queenstown
Wine Tour

First we explore the wineries of the Gibston Valley. Amisfield Lake Hayes' is stunning new winery. Taste winemaker Jeff Sinnott's delicious Rieslings and Pinot's.

Next stop Peregrine Wines. Their prime focus is on growing premium Pinot Noir and white varieties from their estate managed vineyards. These are all meticulously hand-tended and farmed under a sustainable philosophy. Peregrine has its vineyards in the two top regions of the area, Gibston and Cromwell. These areas typically produce intensely flavoured wines of finesse and elegance with the predominantly schist soils adding mineral complexity.

We continue on further up the valley to Bannockburn and for lunch at Mount Difficulty and taste some of their award winning Pinot Noirs. The views of Cromwell and its surrounds from this winery are nothing short of stunning.

After Lunch we visit Felton Road the vineyards of Bannockburn are nestled into small macro climates totally surrounded by high mountains, many of which are snowcapped all year round. Though the location is on the edge of sustainable viticulture these macro climates consistently combine hot days, cool nights and long dry autumns: perfect for the creation of fine Felton Road Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling.

Finally we make our way down to Cromwell and visit Two Paddocks a vineyard owned by actor Sam Neil. Two Paddocks is a family vineyard that specialises in premium quality Pinot Noir wine. Sam is a great believer in Terroir which is evident in all his wines. Two Paddock vines are planted in two different locations around Alexander and one in the Gibston Valley and each vineyard is prized for the its unique grape growing potential.

The evening is yours

Day 9: Queenstown 08 FEB
Milford Sound

Milford Sound is situated on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. It is a world renowned area of extraordinary beauty. Milford Sound is actually named incorrectly a sound, it actually is a true fiord, which measures 12 km long and is up to 320 metres deep. The fiord receives an average yearly rainfall of approximately 7.5m (300 inches) because it is situated on one of the world's most formidable coastlines, which is subject to rapidly changing weather conditions. The weather is famous for its ability to deteriorate or improve within a very short period of time. These dramatic weather patterns result in some of nature's most amazing scenery transformations, especially when viewed from one of our scenic Milford Sound flights. At any time on the fiords visitors may see seals, dolphins, penguins and other New Zealand native wildlife.

Tonight we dine at The Bath House. This is probably one of the most delightful locations and restaurants you will ever find. Situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu with stunning lake and mountain views. Menu

Email us for more information or bookings

abel tasman

Abel Tasman Walk


Little Kaiteriteri

rockferryRockferry Cottage

awatere valley

Awatere Valley

Tour Price:

$7200 NZD
Per Person
Min number 4
Max number 8

Departure Dates:

Tours depart on the first Monday of every month

Tour Includes:

9 nights accommodation
Most meals
3 VIP wine tours & tasting
Tours & visits to cultural attractions   

Milford Sound Flight

2 Degustation Dinners

Light Trekking

Abel Tasman National Park

Jet Boat Ride
Christchurch To Queenstown Flight
All transportation on tour
Wine & Culinary tour guide

 Culinary Class Herzog

Tour Highlights

Luxury accommodation
VIP Wine visits & tasting hosted by leading vintners
Food & Wine pairing dinners
Meet artisan food producers
Wine and culinary expert local guides
Meet enchanting epicurean New Zealanders
Fantastic scenery

Punting on the Avon


Peregrine Wines

Sam Neil - Two Paddocks


Accommodation Queenstown


View From Your Villa Balcony

Milford Sound