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Trip report - Wanaka/Central Otago, NZ

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Trip report - Wanaka/Central Otago, NZ

UpgradeQueen | Apr 18, 2008 04:37 PM

We just returned from our fifth trip to NZ, and it was another spectacular visit. This time, we only went to Wanaka (to our favorite lodge, Riverrun), and then headed over to spend some time in Oz - also fantastic.

We did some wine tasting on a rainy day in the Central Otago region. Tasting rooms are called "cellar doors" there, so look for signs as you're driving. We did like Amisfield, as mentioned on this board many times, although this is a very Napa-like experience (not that there's anything wrong with that!). Lovely winery, gift shop, beautiful patio restaurant with artwork on the lawn, lots of swells at the bar, etc. We particularly liked (and bought) their Pinot Gris, but preferred the pinot noir at a tiny place called Quartz Reef. It's a totally different experience, like pulling up to somebody's garage. The '06 is good, and they still have some of their reserve '05 in magnums, and that's really good. Also worth a stop for the award-winning architecture is Peregrine in Gibbstown, but I didn't love their wines.

Two other wines we drank and liked but didn't visit were Felton Road ('05 pinot) in Bannockburn, and Rockburn pinot in Cromwell. There is a good map of this region at http://www.otagowine.com/winetrail/wi....

The only dinner we ate outside the excellent cooking at Riverrun was at the White House in Wanaka, which we loved and will always go back to when we're there. A very local experience run/owned by Peter Scott (a local character), and his two sons do the cooking. We were completely charmed by him, the food, the excellent wine list by the glass, and by the fact that he bolts the tables to the floor because he doesn't like to serve large parties. I would choose this over Missy's Kitchen and the new favorite, Botswana Butchery, any day.

There is nothing not to love about New Zealand.

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