A visit to Canterbury wouldn’t be complete without experiencing a good dose of our exceptional gourmet delights. Our region is rated among the world’s top wine-producing areas, and our fertile lands and pure waterways yield some delectable fare. So bring a hearty appetite, and treat your palate to the unique tastes of Canterbury.
Canterbury has a thriving vineyard culture – with sublime settings, world-class dining, and not forgetting heavenly wines. The Waipara Valley, just north of Christchurch, is home to a cluster of wineries. Spend a sun soaked afternoon sampling some of the great wines produced in these parts. Or head over to the gorgeous Banks Peninsula, where a unique microclimate grows grapes that make for a delicious drop. There’s lots of fun to be had discovering the joys of the many other boutique vineyards scattered throughout Canterbury, and gaining an appreciation for each area’s unique notes.
It’s easy to track down a fine drop, meet enthusiastic producers and sample the area’s culinary specialities – with Canterbury’s unique network of Food & Wine Trails. Detailed maps show you where to find wineries, cafés and restaurants, accommodation, farmers’ markets, culinary tours and where to taste and buy local delicacies. Pick up a guide from an i-SITE, or download from www.canterburyfoodandwinetrails.co.nz, and embark on a Canterbury culinary adventure. Here’s a little taste of the tastes on offer…
North Canterbury Food & Wine Trail
Head north from Christchurch, to find superb landscape – with the mighty Southern Alps, weaving rivers and a dramatic coastline. You’ll also find passionate people producing award-winning wines and tempting food and produce. Enjoy succulent seafood fresh from the Kaikoura coastline, locally-made cheeses, and olives and olive oils from hillside groves. In the beautiful Waipara Valley, soak up stunning vineyard settings over a long lunch, and make sure you take in a cellar door tasting while you’re here.
Selwyn Food & Wine Trail
Come and explore this rural treasure chest of gourmet goodies – right on the doorstep of Christchurch. Delight in the creamy goodness of multi-award winning goats’ cheese, or the subtle spice of locally grown saffron. Explore quaint country stores packed with local gastronomy, savour wines with the people who made them, or go nuts, literally, at the Southern Hemisphere’s leading walnut producer.
Mid Canterbury Food & Wine Trail
Against a stunning scenic backdrop, a journey along this trail will reward you with fresh flavours, fine dining, and world-class wine. Experience the sensory delight of uniquely flavoured handmade chocolates, the taste of good health with hempseed oil, or the rich creaminess of clover honey. The Mid Canterbury climate creates an ideal ripening environment for grapes – so make sure you try a local Pinot Gris or Pinot Noir while you’re here.
South Canterbury Food & Wine Trail
Picturesque South Canterbury has a fast emerging food and wine scene. Flavoursome food here reflects the rich fertile land, in a setting of vast plains, rolling hill country and spectacular mountains and lakes. Come and taste the difference in food made with love by local artisans. Bask in the sweetness of fluffy custard desserts, luscious berries and creamy farm-made yoghurt. Enjoy free-range pork deli delights, or silken salmon with a local drop – all served with a warm South Canterbury smile.