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9 BEST Wineries in Queenstown that You Have to Visit (2024 Guide!)

9 BEST Wineries in Queenstown that You Have to Visit (2024 Guide!)

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Did you know that Queenstown is actually pretty famous for its boutique wineries? It’s safe to say, my hometown has officially embraced wine culture, which is perfect for people like us!

Wine tastings are a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine, and the wineries here may or may not have been part of my decision to move here permanently, sorry not sorry! Since then, I’ve visited pretty much every winery in the area, so I’m happy to call myself a bit of an expert on all things wine related here in Queenstown.

With that said, I do realize that it can be a bit confusing for visitors to decide which winery to actually visit – there is quite a bit of choice after all. That’s why I’ve put together this blog, so you can pick and choose the wineries you want to visit and create the ultimate wine-infused itinerary!

So, without further ado, let’s pop the cork on the 9 best wineries here in Queenstown.

10 Best Wineries in Queenstown

1. Gibbston Valley Winery

The wine cave at The Gibbston Valley Winery near Queenstown, New Zealand
This is New Zealand’s largest wine cave!

It would be impossible to talk about Queenstown’s vibrant wine culture without mentioning the infamous Gibbston Valley Winery.

Located on the scenic outskirts of Queenstown in the heart of the Gibbston Valley Wine Region, Gibbston Valley Winery offers thirsty visitors a full-scale winery, tasting room, cheesery, and restaurant. And if it’s a view you’re after, this winery does not disappoint!

You’ll be greeted by a tremendous display of rocky mountains that jut up into the sky, flanked by rolling hills of lush vineyards stretching far into the distance.

It really is a stunning sight in any season. It’s no wonder folks have been drawn here since 1990! Its decades of winemaking make this Central Otago’s founding winery.

As for the wines themselves? With a wide range of handcrafted selections on offer, there’s something to suit everyone’s palette – from buttery chardonnays to earthy pinot noirs. Gibston Valley Winery is home to the largest wine cave in the country, and you can take a tour and a tasting for $20 NZD, complete with the musings of Gibbston’s knowledgeable staff. They’ll tell you all about the winemaking process, tasting notes, the winery’s history, and other local anecdotes about the region.

The step up from the basic cellar door tour is this 45-minute guided tour, which gives you an overview of the vineyards, winery, and wine cave. You get an in-depth look at the entire process, from grape to glass in an hour-long tour, and then can enjoy the wine tasting that is included!

A lady runs through grape vines in the Gibbston valley between Queenstown and Wanaka
Just checking the grapes!

Or, if you need transport, this tour includes a ride to and from Queenstown and you will also get to bike the Queenstown River Trail to explore other wineries in the Central Otago region. It’s a fun way to explore the gorgeous scenery and get a little work out while touring the wineries!

The Cellar Door is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

When you visit, be sure to give their crisp, refreshing Gewürztraminer a try – as a wine that showcases all the best aspects of the region’s climate, it’s a personal favorite!

There’s even a wide selection of tasty food on offer at their winery restaurant, cheesery and deli, and Fumé (the wood-fired kitchen.) And if you’re feeling like a nightcap after your culinary experience, book in at the luxury lodge and spa.

Another perk: Gibbston Valley Winery hosts an annual summer concert series, with past appearances by bands like Supertramp, Jefferson Starship, Dragon, Crowded House, and many more!

2. Mt Rosa

A glass of wine with views over Mt Rosa Winery near Queenstown
Those views! Photo credit: Mt Rosa Winery

Another Gibbston Valley favorite for almost twenty years, Mt Rosa Wines is a gem nestled right in the heart of New Zealand’s Southern Alps.

With five varieties of grapes growing in their vineyard, you can try them all in their well-appointed Cellar Door and tasting room, open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (closes at 1 p.m. on Tuesdays). Tastings are $15 NZD, and you can even accompany them with some local cheeses, cured meats, and other culinary delights from Mt Rosa’s tasting room menu.

Be sure to enjoy a taste of the lush Pinot Noir that they’ve become so well known for – a must-try if you’re headed to Mt Rosa. The bramble, blackcurrant, and spice notes will tantalize even the pickiest of palettes.

Overall, Mt Rosa offers a great balance of superb wines, gorgeous views, fantastic food, and a laid-back atmosphere, compromising Central Otago’s sophisticated wine culture.

Mt Rosa is also part of this Original Wine Tour, which includes the top three wineries in the region! So you can be driven around from winery to winery and not have to worry about paying for any of the tastings, and simply enjoy the best wineries in Queenstown- like Mt Rosa!

3. Kinross

The cellar door in Kinross
Let’s taste some wine!

Well known for its charming vineyard accommodation and quaint restaurant, Kinross Winery offers an ideal mix of comfort and boutique feel.

Kinross’s Cellar Door and tasting room pride itself on showcasing a selection of Central Otago wines complete with tales of the region, the winemaking process, and other tidbits to provide visitors with a top-shelf experience every time. In fact, 5 different wineries use Kinross as their cellar door so you get to taste a huge variety in one place!

Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you can make an appearance at any time of day to have a great culinary experience. And if you’d like to stay in the area for an extended period, check out the Kinross Cottages. There are 14 cottages on the property, each offering cascading views of the mountains and surrounding vineyards it’s the perfect place for a romantic getaway!

The cozy cottages are where comfort, beauty, and privacy meet. Sleep amongst the vines in these well-appointed and stylish little buildings scattered throughout the grounds.

A stop at Kinross Wines is part of this Queenstown Wine Sampler tour, as it’s one of the best! This tour will take you to the best four wineries in the Gibbston Valley and includes a driver, tastings, and one winery tour. You’ll get to compare Kinross Wines alongside the other top wineries in the valley to see which is your favorite (that will be a difficult decision!).

Or simply enjoy Kinross Winery and taste a selection of 5 wines for just $15 NZD, and cap off your evening with comfy cottage accommodation starting at $266 NZD. Please note that advanced bookings are required for both.

4. Mora

a lady pours some wine at Akura Wines near Queenstown
Try before you buy? Yes, please!

Formally known as the family-owned estate, Akarua, this vineyard dating back to 1996 was purchased by Edmond de Rothschild Heritage and transformed into Mora in October 2022.

You will still notice the vineyards’ remarkable phenomenon, whereby the region’s arid mountain landscape drives hearty Pinot Noir vines to fruit by way of their silent struggle with the elements.

When you visit Mora’s Cellar Door in Lake Hayes, be sure to try The Siren, a distinctive Pinot Noir offered in various vintages. Each year’s harvest boasts slightly different characteristics and tasting notes. No matter which one you try, taste it carefully; as you swish it around in your mouth, take note of how the rich mouthfeel conveys the character of the very earth from which its grapes were harvested.

Tastings at the Mora’s Cellar Door are by request only every day of the week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

And if you’re feeling peckish, visit Mora’s Artesian Kitchen overlooking a lush garden, all just 15 minutes from Queenstown Central in Lake Hayes. You can visit anytime between 9 am to 5 pm.

Insider’s Tip: Visit in autumn for one of the world’s most colorful fall foliage views. Because there’s nothing quite like a palette of vibrant autumn colors to accompany your wine!

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5. Amisfield Restaurant & Cellar Door

The grape vines from above at Amisfield Restaurant & Cellar Door
Those epic Central Otago views! Photo credit: Amisfield

Cheers to the first organic winery on our list!

Amisfield is, in many ways, the crown jewel of Central Otago’s vibrant wine culture. They take their time with making wines that are “hands-off” (according to their winemaker, Greg Lane) or fiddled with as little as possible along the winemaking journey.

At Amisfield, their mantra is all about keeping it organic from harvest to bottle. And it’s less about what they do and more about what they don’t.

Keeping it real means you’ll taste the land in every glass – including all the schist and earth’s minerals of the 2-million-year-old mountains of the region. Best known for its distinctive Pinot Noir, it’s one not to miss at Amisfield.

Tasting is $25 NZD per person for up to five wines and a menu of small plate dishes from the restaurant can accompany or follow your tasting. Visit their tasting room in Lake Hayes is open every day of the week from 10 am to 6 pm. Groups of 7 or more will require an online reservation.

Related Read: Traveling to Wanaka? Include Amisfield as one of your stops between Queenstown and Wanaka.

6. Wet Jacket Wines Cellar Door & Gourmet Deli

Wet Jacket Wines Cellar Door on a summers day
White wine in the sun? Yes, please! Photo credit: Wet Jacket

Set amidst the Bendemeer Woolshed, Wet Jacket’s location alone offers a rich history that complements its luscious wines. A nod to Central Otago’s farming history, the Woolshed offers a vintage vibe that marries old and new.

Pair this with their Cellar Door and their fully stocked, on-site gourmet deli and you can truly “have your cake and eat it, too” – except by cake, I mean artisanal cheeses and cured charcuterie meats.

As for the wines themselves, their selections do not disappoint. An impressive range of reds and whites will suit even the pickiest of palettes, and there’s a generous gradient of sweet to dry.

My personal favorite: the 2018 Chardonnay, which was given 5 stars by Dish Magazine. Try it with some smoked brie, French pâté, or venison salami. There’s even a selection of Mediterranean foods on offer in the Wet Jacket deli, which is open daily from 11 am to 6 pm.

Have a tasting at the Wet Jacket Cellar Door is currently available by appointment only. So make sure to contact them in advance to secure your spot. You can get a tasting of 5 wines for $20 NZD, and a portion of the proceeds go to conservation projects with Real New Zealand! Appointments are available Monday to Friday at 10:30 am, 2 pm, and 3 pm, or Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 2 pm, or 3 pm.

You can even reach this winery by public bus so you can enjoy a few extra glasses if you wish!

7. Chard Farm

The Chard Farm cellar door
Next stop, the Chard Farm! Photo credit: Chard Farm

It would be hard to make mention of Chard Farm Winery without first drawing attention to the scenic drive that greets you when you arrive at its gate. This alone is an iconic feature of the winery – and separates the serious venturers apart from the casual stumblers-upon.

Once you meander down a gravel road through the Gibbston Valley and over the turquoise greatness of the rushing Kawarau River, you’ll be met with the rolling hills of Chard Farm. And its impressive views are sure to stun visitors from Queenstown at any time of year.

From Pinot Noir to Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling to Rosé, there’s quite a generous range of wines to delight in at Chard Farm. Try the Gewurztraminer – it’s jam-packed full of fruity flavors and crisp citrus notes that are sure to make your mouth water.

Open 7 days a week, the cellar door offers tastings from 12 pm to 5 pm Monday through Friday and 11 am to 5 pm on weekends.

8. Peregrine Wines

The stunning cellar door at Peregrine Wines
The building is stunning! Photo credit: Peregrine

From Tuesday to Saturday, stroll on into the cellar door at Peregrine Winery, a place where majestic landscape meets tasty wine.

And if you’re not sufficiently impressed by the wine list, take a gander at the impressive architecture. Peregrine is more than just a name – the entire award-winning facility is designed to mimic a falcon’s wing in flight, making for an elegant, upscale experience from the moment you walk inside.

Since 1998, this family-owned winery has been making organically farmed vino, ranging from sweet Rieslings to oaky Pinot Noir. I absolutely love their Rosé, which has an off-dry pleasantry finished with notes of berry and ripe fruit. Yum!

If ethically grown wines are your thing, you’ll be pleased to know that this winery is also conservation-minded. A portion of the proceeds from every bottle goes toward helping to protect some of New Zealand’s rarest native birds – which only further solidifies the notion that Peregrine is more than just their name.

Visit Peregrine’s stunning cellar door from 11 am to 4 pm Monday to Saturday to sample a fine mix of wine, architecture, and spectacular Gibbston Valley scenery. Be sure to make a reservation in advance!

9. Rippon Winery

Grape vines at Rippon Winery, Wanaka
Rippon Winery is absolutely beautiful!

A near and dear personal favorite, Rippon Winery is perched right on Lake Wanaka’s stunning waterfront. And if the backdrop’s not enough to blow you away, you’ll absolutely love their tasty wine selections.

What makes Rippon so special is that they are the only vineyard in the world to grow Osteiner, a variety born of Riesling and Sylvaner – and since they’ve got precisely 5 hectares of it, you’ll feel uber special to be sipping on a wine that’s incredibly rare and sought after.

Harnessing the high ultraviolet, sunny continental climate of Central Otago, the wines capture the essence of a truly unique landscape. Sip on one of Rippon’s signature ‘mature vine’ Pinot Noirs – a series of limited releases that have earned themselves accolades throughout the region. The “Tinker’s Bequest” is my personal favorite!

Free appointments and tastings are available to book from Thursday to Sunday from 12 pm to 5 pm to experience an array of sensory delights at Rippon Winery.

Best Wine Tours in Queenstown

With so many amazing wineries in Queenstown, it’s best to hit them all with a wine tour! This way, you can enjoy a variety of wines and not have to worry about driving from winery to winery. I love all of these tours because they take the amazing wineries in Queenstown, and pair them with another fun activity, so it’s a two-for-one experience!

Gourmet Food and Wine Tour

People cheers at a table at the Kinross winery in the Gibbston Valley near Queenstown
Cheers to some good wine and food!

There are few things in the world better than perfectly paired wine and food, so this gourmet food and wine tour is the ideal way to dive into Queenstown’s winery scene! On this 6.5-hour experience, you’ll get to explore Gibbston’s Wine Cave, stop by iconic wineries in Bannockburn, and have a wine and food pairing at The Stoaker Room Cromwell. What’s even more incredible is that your food is cooked in a wine barrel, so it has that fruity tannin-filled flavor with every bite!

This tour includes all of your wine tastings, lunch, and transportation for $289 NZD per person. I really can’t think of a better way to experience the variety of Gibbston Valley’s eclectic wine scene, so be sure to reserve your spot on this tour before it fills up!

Bike and Wine Guided Tour

Bailey enjoys wine at Gibbston Valley Winery near Queenstown
The wine is so good at Gibbston Valley Winery!
Pinot Noir from Gibbston Valley Winery near Queenstown, New Zealand
Cheers to the Pinot Noir!

I love wineries, there’s no denying that, but I think they are even more fun to visit by riding a bike through the gorgeous Gibbston Valley! Many of the wineries in this region are connected by trails and safe roads, which makes biking to each winery a breeze (well, as much as a breeze as biking through the hilly vineyards is!).

You can opt to rent an e-bike so it is actually pretty easy, which will probably be nice after a few wineries. This tour is self-guided, so you can move at your own pace and hit as many wineries as you want, but they provide a trail map and your gear.

There are also deals at select wineries, which is a nice perk in addition to the fun day out! This bicycle tour through Gibbston Wine Valley is $105 NZD for a mountain bike and $155 NZD for an e-bike. You can book your bike of choice in advance here!

Wine and Craft Beer Tour

Bailey looks at the bridge at Canyon Brewing in Queenstown
The view from Canyon Brewing, one of the stops on the tour!
Bailey enjoys a drink at Canyon Brewing in Queenstown
I prefer wine to beer usually.

If your group can’t decide between a wine tour or a beer tour, this tour caters to both! On this wine and craft beer tour, you find the perfect balance between breweries and wineries by stopping at Gibbston Tavern, Kinross Winery, and Canyon Brewing. All of which provide craft beer or wine and put a unique spin on each tasting. Plus, with antipasto platters at your final stop, what more could you ask for in a tour!?

This 4-hour wine and beer experience is $209 NZD per person and can be reserved in advance here!

Queenstown Wine Hopper Bus

The wine cave at Gibbston Valley Winery
The wine cave at Gibbston Valley Winery.

While I love taking a wine tour (it’s just so much easier), sometimes I don’t like feeling pressed for time. So this hop-on-hop-off wine tour is the perfect solution! The buses circle the Gibbston Valley wine region 6 times throughout the day and have designated times, so you can stop off at one winery for as long as you want before heading to the next. There are also stops at local scenic locations and commentary from your driver, so it’s a fun experience in itself.

This tour departs at 12 pm and includes transportation only, all your wine-tasting fees are on you! You can reserve the hop-on-hop-off bus for $79 NZD per person and can book it in advance here.

Why I Book Tours on Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! I almost always book all of my tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here

Where to Stay in Queenstown’s Wine Regions

Stoneridge Lodge in Lake Hayes
There aren’t many places more beautiful than this lodge!

If you truly love wine then why not stay amongst the vines? Seriously, who wouldn’t want to be within stumbling distance from their favorite winery?! Below are some of the best places to stay in each of the wine regions that are closest to Queenstown.

Gibbston Valley

Within the Gibbston Valley, there are a ton of beautiful places to stay only minutes, and sometimes seconds, from cellar doors.

Gibbston Valley Lodge and Spa – This beautiful lodge is located at the Gibbston Valley Winery. The property is gorgeous and located near bike trails and other wineries.

Judge & Jury Farm Retreat – Looking for a holiday home for a larger group? This place is perfect and located in the heart of the Gibbston Valley. Enjoy magnificent farm views in a brand new cottage home!

Kinross Cottages Boutique Vineyard Hotel – This is my top choice in the Gibbston Valley. Located at Kinross cellar door you’ll have access to 5 different wineries from one place. The cottages are stunning and the location couldn’t be better!

Lake Hayes

Overlooking the beautiful Lake Hayes you can stay in some pretty spectacular places only a stone’s throw from some wineries on this list and others in the area.

Stoneridge Estate – This stunning hotel is actually located at the Stoneridge Estate Winery. Not only are you close to other wineries on this list but you’ll also be staying at one! This hotel is pure luxury and they even have a pool overlooking Lake Hayes!

The Shan’s Lodge – If you’re on a budget or just want more money to spend on wine then The Shan’s Lodge is a perfect choice. Surrounded by wineries in Lake Hayes this lodge is a beautiful family-run establishment with amazing reviews.

Must-Do Activities While in Queenstown

Canyoning in Mt Aspiring National Park
Canyoning is one of the most underrated activities you can do in Queenstown!

While in Queenstown there are plenty of other activities that will keep you busy… Honestly, there are so many it’ll be hard to choose which ones to do! Below are some of my favorites.

  • Queenstown Lakes Lord of the Rings Tour – This tour is fun for both major LOTR fans and those who have some level of interest in seeing and learning about the filming locations. You will be guided around in a 4×4 vehicle that is equipped to cross rivers and rugged terrain. There are 8 different stops over 9 hours, it’s a long day but it will be filled with so many breathtaking views and you’ll learn a ton from your guide.
  • TSS Earnslaw Steamship Cruise – This scenic and relaxing cruise in Queenstown is an activity great for any afternoon. The ship you will be cruising on is the Historic TSS Earnslaw and you will get to watch crew members add coal to the flames that power the vessel. Take in the mountain ranges and lush green valleys of Otago. You can also upgrade this tour here to include dinner at Walter Peak High Country Farm.
  • Queenstown Canyoning Adventure – Climb and jump off waterfalls, rappel, swim, and trek your way down a part of a Queenstown canyon with a qualified guide. This thrilling full-day activity is perfect for those who love adventure and exploration! As long as you aren’t afraid of heights and have a basic swimming ability you won’t need any other skills.
  • Day Trip to Milford Sound With Picnic Lunch – This tour will give you the ultimate ability to explore the beauty of Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park. Not only will your guide stop at several impressive viewpoints on the way from Queenstown but there is also a cruise in Milford Sound included. This small-group tour goes for $249 NZD a person and I think it’s a really great value for a more personalized experience.
  • Extreme Jet Boating – Looking for a thrill? Jet Boating is one of New Zealand’s most unique activities. On the tour out of Queenstown, you’ll be able to zoom up the Shotover River through narrow canyons at high speeds and make 360-degree spins. Trust, me it’s epic!

Renting a Car, Campervan, or Motorhome in New Zealand

Bailey stands in front of a right green JUCY campervan
JUCY is one of my favorite campervan rental companies (read below for a discount code!)
Bailey stands behind her Mad Campers campervan cooking in the kitchen at Piha Beach
I also really like Mad Campers!

Let’s face it, you’re going to need wheels to get around New Zealand. Although a small country, buses between destinations are infrequent and expensive. Plus, some of the best experiences you can have in NZ are on road trips!

You have three options when it comes to getting wheels in New Zealand; a car, a campervan, or a motorhome. Here’s what you need to know about each and where to get them:

  • Car – A normal car is the cheapest rental vehicle you can get in New Zealand. It’ll get you around to all of the best destinations with ease. The only downside to a car is that you will need to stay in hotels or Airbnbs during your travels (no camping.) The easiest place to rent a car in New Zealand is on Discover Cars where you can compare cars, companies, prices, features, and more very easily.
  • Campervan – A Campervan is a large van that has a bed and a small kitchen in the back. It’s what most budget travelers use for traveling around New Zealand since it allows you to camp comfortably and for free (most) nights. Campervans are best for couples or solo travelers who are happy to live in a small space. You should also love the outdoors and camping…and be prepared for an adventure of a lifetime! My favorite campervan rental company is JUCY because they have a huge selection of campervans to choose from, plus multiple pick-up/drop-off locations. You can browse JUCY’s campervan selection online here. Alternatively, you can easily compare all campervans available in NZ on Motorhome Republic here.

EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT CODE: I’ve managed to snag a discount code for 5% off for my readers if you book your campervan or motorhome through JUCY or Star RV! Simply click here to select your JUCY campervan, or click here to select your Star RV motorhome, and then use the code DTRAVEL24 at checkout to get 5% off – it’s that easy!

Thanks for reading!

A photo of Bailey from My Queenstown Diary at a winery in Queenstown
Thanks for reading!

Whether you’re a casual wine enthusiast or a serious oenophile, there’s no shortage of quality wineries to choose from in Queenstown. I hope this list of the 10 best wineries in Queenstown helps you to have your most delicious New Zealand experience.

Thanks so much for reading! Let’s hope you’re now ready to explore Queenstown’s wineries! If you are, be sure to browse around some more, you are sure to find another blog you’ll love about Queenstown or New Zealand! I’ve also included some of my most popular posts below:

55 Awesome Things to do in New Zealand (A Local Guide!)

21 Things to do in Queenstown at NIGHT

How to Spend 3 Days in Queenstown: A Detailed Itinerary (by a local!)

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