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Explore the Best Wineries in Wanaka

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Wanaka wine region is located north of Queenstown, in New Zealand, and is in a slightly cooler region, has more precipitation, adheres to different wine-growing rules, and is less susceptible to frost. In the Wanaka wine region the local red wines are quickly becoming world famous and some of the most spectacular in the world. These Pinot Noir red wines are made from grapes grown in some of the most scenic vineyards in New Zealand's history. With a range of vineyards, wines, and festivals in Wanaka, we can guarantee that you'll never run out of reasons to visit the town!

Check out the best wine tastings and tours in Wanaka Wine Region

Where is the Wanaka Wine Region

Wanaka is the northernmost sub-region of Central Otago in New Zealand's South Island. It's 30 miles northeast from Queenstown.

History of Wanaka Wine

Grapes have been grown commercially on the shores of Lake Wānaka since 1982. Their vineyard is named after Emma, who was a member of the family that founded Rolfe Sargood Mills and bought the winery. This showed the first Sculpture in Central Otago exhibition, which was hosted at Rippon vineyard in 2009.

Terrior of Wanaka Wine Region

Wanaka has a moderate climate. The summer months are comfortable, but the winter months are much colder than in other parts of New Zealand. It is also wet and partly cloudy year round with some parts experiencing more precipitation in the form of rain and snow.

One of the most key features of Wanaka's terroir is its soil. The bedrock is mostly made of schist and coarse gravels, which were formed by glacial action. These soils are well-draining and optimal for high-end viticulture. It also effectively increases water growth and promotes deep root systems that penetrate the underlying rock.

Wanaka Wine Characteristics 

Six varieties of grapes have chosen the Wanaka wine region as their home - Pinot Noir, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay, and Chardonnay. These wines provide distinctive characteristics of terroir in the taste profiles, from delicate and layered to precise and strong.

Pinot Noir is a flagship variety that has become famous due to its silky texture and intense flavor. It is often considered to be one of the hardest varieties to get its signature taste from, but the region it was originally discovered in has helped change that.

Riesling and Gewürztraminer wines include fruity attributes like berry, citrus, apple, and tropical fruits as well as crisp acidity.

A Chardonnay is a type of fine wine that has citrus and mineral characters and is structured and finely-bodied, but becomes more rounded with age. It usually keeps for a long time before it goes bad, but it can be consumed when young if you want to.

Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp, linear wine that provides refreshing acidity balanced with dry and stony flavors. It's made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes and its are native to France where they're grown near limestone ridges.

Food to pair with Wanaka Wine

Bacon and Egg Pie

This delicious New Zealand dish is what you need if you're looking for something filling and decadent. It contains layers of flaky pastry that can be filled with salty bacon and egg yolks, giving it a delicious and satisfying flavor with each bite! It is recommended to pair it with Wanaka wines.


There is a new type of hamburger on the market that is non-traditional, but it has been extremely popular lately. It consists of an entire burger wrapped in toasted bread with a patty in the center, and it's called Kiwiburger. There are also additional ingredients such as an egg, onions, tomatoes, and cheese on top. The burger has been around for a while and is similar to what people might be used to before McDonald's made its way into the market. KiwiBurger pairs responsibly with Wanaka wines

Anzac Biscuits

The origins of these cookies are not clear, however, both Australia and New Zealand name themselves as the first country to have invented them. Despite this, Anzac biscuits have been a favorite throughout the world for many years. This cookie recipe is delicious and such a treat. They can be made from a mixture of flour, oats, golden syrup, butter, sugar, and cacoa giving them that great coconut flavor and acidity that balances the sweetness perfectly. Anzac Biscuits go well with Wanaka wines.

Places to visit near Wanaka

Explore the Wanaka Lavender Farm

Lavender Farm is a really popular stop and also one of the best scenic locations. The best time to visit the Wanaka Lavender Farm is from November through to the beginning of March when they have their peak bloomers. The entrance fees are $5 NZD per adult in the winter (November-February) or $10 NZD in summer.

Take in the views on Rob Roy Glacier Track

Ruminating over the different places to go hiking in the Western Lakes region, we suggest taking a relatively easy hike an hour's drive from Wanaka. Rob Roy Glacier Track is a favorite of our tourists - as the name suggests, its main drawcard is seeing active glaciers.

Frisbee golf

The game of frisbee golf is similar to golf in the sense that both can have either 9 or 18 holes, and the object of both games is to throw a 'frisbee' at a target. It's very popular on the South Island of New Zealand. You can choose from two courses – Lismore Park and Eely Point.

Hike Diamond Lake Track

One of the best hikes in Wanaka is hiking Diamond Lake Track. It’s rated easy and as such, gets busier during the summer months.

Frequently asked questions about Wanaka Wine Region

  • Where is Wanaka?
  • Wanaka is in the northern part of New Zealand that sits in Central Otago, just off the main highway between Queenstown and Dunedin.

  • What are the most common grape varieties in Wanaka?
  • In Wanaka, the most common grape varieties are:  Pinot Noir, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay and Chardonnay

    How many wineries does Wanaka have?

    There are eight wineries in Wānaka, the best wine region for wine lovers

    Map of Wineries in Wanaka

    Discover the locations of wineries in Wanaka

    Explore the Best
    Experiences in Wanaka

    Just getting started on your wine journey, or jumping back in?
    Taste through a selection of a great local wines.

    Wineries in Wanaka