The fine-quality wine produced in the hinterlands of New Zealand is loved, accepted and appreciated globally. By Shubhanjana Das

If you are a wine connoisseur tracing your way through the island country, consider this a guiding itinerary that will help you find and explore the best wineries in New Zealand. Don’t forget to carry some Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir as souvenirs.

1. Te Mata Estate, Hawke’s Bay

With the credit of producing some of the best wines from New Zealand, Te Mata Estate is one of the oldest family-run wineries. Started way back in 1896, Te Mata now exports its world-class produce from the Havelock Hills to about 42 countries. Private tours of the vineyard as well as tasting can be booked in advance if you want a more holistic experience than just their name on the bottle.

2. Rippon Vineyard, Central Otago

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The Pinot Noir that comes from the world’s southernmost wine-producing region of Central Otago is unarguably one of the best you can get. When in NZ, you would maybe like to check out the vineyard that is behind a holistic, chemical pesticides-free production of the finest Pinot Noir grapes.. It is situated on the shores of Lake Wanaka and the views it promises are absolutely awe-inspiring. Tastings here don’t need to be booked from before. You can just show up at their door during working hours and taste some of Rippon’s latest vintages.

3. Milton Vineyard, Gisborne

The credits of the BioGro certification for an impressive biodynamic process of growing grapes went to Milton Vineyards back in 1989, making it the first to have so. The range of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Riesling that has garnered international acclaim comes from the four individual wineries and three distinctive brands from the Milton Vineyards. The cellar door is set amidst a lush garden stretch wherein visitors can have an inexplicably rich tasting experience.

4. Palliser Estate, Martinborough

It won’t be an exaggeration to state that Palliser Estate has one of the most inclusive wine-tasting experiences and a cultivation ethic that just makes its wines taste better when you have it in their cellar that is open all year-round. Their vineyards are re-purposed farmlands from where the award-winning Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays are churned out. Enjoy your glass of some of the finest wine you will ever taste with a wholesome, fresh meal cooked in their in-house cooking school.

5. Mission Estate

Back in 1851, New Zealand’s future of being one of the best wine-producing countries in the world was written by the first winery to be established in NZ. Apart from the inspiring history of a relocation, refurbishment, and expansion, Mission Estate’s beautiful cellar, which is set in a re-purposed seminary building is the perfect place to tease your senses with a glass of some of NZ’s best produce and contemporary dishes made from local produce.

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