Mysterious boulders, windswept beaches and Maori rock art made from red ochre, charcoal and animal fat (no that’s not the wine tasting note!) are what makes the Waitaki Valley more than just another wine growing region. The large braided Waitaki river comes from NZ’s highest mountain, Mount Cook. The local Maori call the river Waitaki o Aoraki, which means the tears of their ancestor Aoraki. The ancestor embodied in the mountain remains the physical manifestation of Aoraki, the link between the supernatural and the natural world….told you this place was special!

Waitaki Valley is the new and very cool (climate) kid on the block, the first vines were only planted in 2001! The wineries are small and intensely looked after, producing beautiful expressions of cool climate aromatic wines. The vineyards are all located on a 75km strip of limestone rich soils which make it perfect terroir for anything aromatic. Combined with cool Pacific breezes and the protection from the Southern Alps, this is a very exciting region. Definitely one to keep your eye on…

If you want to feel truly deserving of a glass of Waitaki Vally wine, be sure to cycle the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail through unspoilt natural beauty. Find your inner mother nature and revel in the beauty that surrounds you. Be sure to stop in at the quaint Vintners Drop in the old Post Office, in the town of Kurow for a glass and a taste of the local produce. If you’re visiting in Autumn, the valley becomes a vibrant splash of golds, yellows, oranges and reds. Picture Perfect!

Wines from Waitaki Valley