a remarkable drop…or two…

Waitiri Creek Winery, Gibbston Valley
Waitiri Creek Winery, Gibbston Valley

Did you know that the indent in the bottom of a wine bottle is called a punt?

I didn’t, but I do now.

Did you know that the deeper the punt the better the cellaring potential of that bottle- naturally under the right conditions.

Anyways, now that I know this, I’ll be able to look even more impressive in my local wine shop.

Cellar Door at Waitiri Creek
Cellar Door at Waitiri Creek

I learned that the other day- at Waitiri Creek Winery.

I also learned that the reason why most wine bottles are 750ml is because of the lung capacity of glass blowers.

I learned that at Waitiri Creek Winery as well.

The other thing I learned is that Waitiri Creek Winery has some seriously good wines- especially the Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. The Chardonnay and Riesling changed my opinions of these varieties- in a very good way!

Waitiri Creek was the first stop in our wine tour around the wineries of the Central Otago region.


Wine making at latitude 45 South is a seriously difficult but, for us wine drinkers, ultimately rewarding. Keren, our guide for Fridays wine tour with Appellation Central Wine Tour, was able to talk us through some of the ways the growers manage the conditions.

Aside from making some truly wonderful wines, this region also contains some seriously stunning scenery.

From the Gibbston Valley we travel through the Kawarau River Valley, following the gorge past the bungy- the world’s first commercial bungy. Thrill seekers have been jumping off the Kawarau River Bridge since 1988. These days there are many more options if you want to jump off things, but this one is still the original.

Kawarau River Gorge
Kawarau River Gorge

Next stop is Carrick Wines and, in my view, the best Pinot Gris of the day- and trust me, there was some stiff competition.


Carrick is also where we had lunch- a platter of antipasta style yummies and a side serve of Bannockburn rugged landscape littered by the remnants of a gold mining past.


After lunch we drive through to the town of Cromwell.


Cromwell was relocated and flooded to make way for the construction of Lake Dunstan. Some buildings were reconstructed to show what the original town would have looked like.

Aurum Wines
Aurum Wines

Aurum Wines was next on our list. The Cellar Door is based in the cutest cottage garden.

Aurum do a white port, or fortified wine and a range of stickies or dessert wines, in addition to a normal tasting range. They also have olive oil and local preserves available for sale at the Cellar Door.

at Aurum Wines
at Aurum Wines

Final stop for the afternoon was back in the Gibbston Valley at Peregrine Wines.

Peregrine Wines
Peregrine Wines

The name comes from New Zealand’s falcon, known as Karearea in Maori, and is meant to combine both power and finesse. In fact, it is one of the best examples of brand management, with the name and the logo mirrored also in the design of the Cellar Door- designed to look like the span of a falcon’s wings.

Art in the Peregrine Cellar Door
Art in the Peregrine Cellar Door

My favourite wine of the day was found here- in the Peregrine Pinot Noir. We liked it so much we had a bottle the following night with dinner.

Peregrine Wines
Peregrine Wines


Appellation keep their groups small- to no more than 11 people on each tour. This keeps it really personal.

We chose the Boutique Wine Tour at $175NZD and included lunch and transport from our hotel.

Barrel Room at Peregrine
Barrel Room at Peregrine

The usual fine print applies- this is obviously my opinion only & yep, I paid my own way…



2 comments on “a remarkable drop…or two…”
  1. Debbish says:

    I need to visit my bestie in NZ and I’d like to visit some of these wineries when I do it.

  2. Philip Green says:

    Hi Jo,

    I really enjoyed reading your blog, thank you. With the growth in the region we are now quite spoilt for choice on which vineyards we choose to visit on our tours so I am pleased to hear you enjoyed the selection that our guide Keren made. If you come with us again make sure you mention where you went previously and we will do our best to visit some different vineyards.

    FYI Carrick Wines just won the Red Wine and Pinot Noir trophy at the Southern Hemisphere’s largest organic wine competition held in Sydney 2 weeks ago.

    Kind regards
    Philip Green
    Appellation Central Wine Tours

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