Great chance to try a wine trail

Mark Henderson
Mark Henderson

Labour Weekend marks the first public holiday since June, and many of our readers will be taking the chance to visit Central Otago.

For wine enthusiasts, a new attraction offers the opportunity to sample a wide range of excellent local wines, while also working on your fitness.

The 4 Barrels Walking Wine Trail is an 8km trail linking Misha's Vineyard, Aurum Wines, Scott Base and Wooing Tree Vineyard.

Self-paced, the time taken to complete the trail will depend on your eagerness to get from one cellar door to the next, but should take roughly 90 minutes.

Add in time at each cellar door, perhaps sampling a platter, and a pleasurable morning, or afternoon, can be had.

Trail maps available at the Cromwell i-Site.

New winery tasting room for Wanaka

For wine lovers visiting Wanaka, a new cellar door has opened on Golf Course Rd.

Mt Maude Wines began over 20 years ago, becoming Maude Wines some time back. Their base in Wanaka's industrial estate is conducive to winemaking, but really not geared to cellar door visitors, so they have opened a new tasting room on Golf Course Rd.

It's open afternoons from Thursday to Monday. More details are available from the Wanaka i-Site.

Alexandra Basin Winegrowers new release tasting

Another exciting event on the Central Otago wine calendar is the ninth annual new releases tasting for the Alexandra Basin Winegrowers. It's held on the Sunday afternoon of Labour Weekend at Olivers Garden in Clyde.

A high proportion of smaller wineries make this a great chance to talk to the people behind the labels and share in their passion, likely making some new discoveries, while rekindling your fondness for old favourites.

Contact the Alexandra i-Site for more information.


2016 The Bone Line Sharkstone Chardonnay
Rating: Very good

Perfumed nose with ripe fruit in the tropical spectrum, the nose evolving to nuts and spices. Powerful acidity, the palate more in the lemon and grapefruit mould with hints of oatmeal and light oak nuances.

Distinctly bracing at first and needing food, but begins to integrate nicely, adding thyme and spices to the lemon citrus.



2015 Kidnapper Cliffs Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay
Price: $55
Rating: Excellent

Delightful nose with matchstick, a whisper of funk, oatmeal/oat biscuit and a little toast. Nicely textural entry, the palate offering lemon, stonefruit and oatmeal. Still quite tightly coiled though with good balance, structure and complexity, and a sense of drive and coolness.

Feels like it needs time to open up.



2016 Montana Reserve Gisborne Chardonnay
Price: $17
Rating: Very good to excellent

Warm and cuddly nose with lanolin, ripe fruit, white flowers, a little Juicy Fruit gum and oak hints. Supple and full in the mouth, with an easy richness, yet retaining freshness and good length. This really kicks on with aeration, showing ripe pear and peach notes and a really bright, spicy close.

Lots of appeal and value here.

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