Christchurch and the South Island have been named the wine capital of New Zealand by the Global Wine Network - rated amongst the world's top wine-producing regions including Bordeaux, France, and Napa Valley, USA.
Follow the North Canterbury Food & Wine Trail shared between Hurunui, Kaikoura and Waimakariri Districts and indulge yourself. Waimakariri, in North Canterbury, is also a place to go to experience a tranquil country lifestyle destination, and be warmly welcomed by the people who will share their place with visitors.
Day 1, Christchurch to Waimakariri
Prior to leaving Christchurch, get the North Canterbury Food & Wine Trail map available at the Christchurch i-Site Visitor Centre. This map will showcases the best cafes, restaurants and wineries to visit along your itinerary.
Your first stop is Melton Estate, located in West Melton (to west of Christchurch City off SH1 South and SH73 West) just a 20 minute drive from the Christchurch CBD and a great place to sample you first taste of Canterbury wine (note - Melton Estate is not on the NCF&WT Map).
Drive all the way to Springfield and experience an iconic New Zealand attraction - the Alpine Jet.
Travel to Oxford for lunch and enjoy wandering around town through boutique stores.
Day 2, Waipara Valley
Perhaps the area's best-kept secret is Karikaas Cheese - taste their award-winning cheeses at this boutique countryside factory. This factory is located on the outskirts of Rangiora.
Then continue to the Waipara Valley, one of the country's newest and most rapidly expanding wine areas. Here you are spoiled for choice in terms of wineries, we highly recommend:
- Pegasus Bay Winery was founded by the Donaldson family, pioneers of local grape growing and wine making. Originally from Prague, Daniel Schuster's own New Zealand Winery is born out of his 25 years of international winemaking experience.
- The Mud House Winery and Café offers creative cuisine and a warm, friendly atmosphere.