Vin de Pays Wine Tours (& 03/357-8262; www.vindepays.co.nz) has a range of options from NZ$80 to $95 (US$44-$52). Its tours visit Waipara and Akaroa wineries, all of which offer tastings and many of which have restaurants. The day trip to Akaroa also includes a visit to a cheese factory and lunch at a quality restaurant.
Colmonell Wine Trail ^jp (& 03/314-6805 or 025/227-6120) has a wagon trail ride through Waipara wineries for NZ$25 (US$14); reservations are required. Just leap into one of the six covered wagons, and you'll be taken at a leisurely pace to seven local wineries. The wagons leave from the Waipara Hotel Carpark in Waipara Village at 11:30am. It's an excellent value and lots of fun. If you need transport from Christchurch to Waipara, take the Hanmer Connection (& 0800/ 377-378) shuttle for NZ$16 (US$8.80) one-way. It leaves from the Christchurch visitor center; hotel pickups by arrangement.
Morworth Estate Vineyard ^f This is a new state of the art winery with a contemporary restaurant complex. Established in 1993, the vineyard has quickly established a reputation for the production of excellent sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, and Riesling varieties.
Broadfield Rd., RD. 6, Christchurch. & 03/349-5014. Fax 03/349-5017. [email protected]. Restaurant Wed-Sun 10am-4pm; dinner by prior arrangement.
Pegasus Bay Winery & Restaurant This small vineyard and winery are run by the Donaldson family, who have been seriously involved with wine for over 30 years. A new 100-seat restaurant serves top-quality cuisine. Specialties include sauvignon/semillon, chardonnay, pinot noir, and Riesling.
Stockgrove Rd.,Amberley. & 03/314-6869. Fax 03/314-6861.www.pegasusbay.com.Tastings NZ$3 (US$1.65) per person. AE, DC, MC, V. Winery daily 10:30am-5pm; restaurant daily noon-4pm. Closed Dec 25-26 and Jan 1. Located 5km (3 miles) north of Amberley.
Rossendale Wines (g Located in the charming Taitapu Valley area, at Halswell, on the perimeter of Christchurch, Rossendale has a established tradition of good wine and good food. Wines available here including Riesling, Gewurz-traminer, sauvignon blanc, merlot, and pinot noir.
168 Old Tai Tapu Rd., Halswell. & 03/322-9684. Fax 03/322-9273. www.rossendale.co.nz. Daily 10am-late.
Trents Estate Vineyard & Restaurant This charming setting is built around a 125-year-old historic chicory kiln, which has been cleverly converted into a rustic restaurant. It is surrounded by pinot noir, chardonnay, and Riesling grapes.
Trents Rd., Templeton. & 03/349-6940. Fax 03/349-6940. www.trentsvineyard.co.nz. Thurs-Sun 11am-4pm; Fri and Sat 11am-late.
Waipara Springs Winery & Restaurant tfftj? This is one of the oldest vineyards in the Waipara region. It produces premium-quality sauvignon blanc, Riesling, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, and pinot noir grapes from its own 20 hectares (49 acres). It has accumulated numerous medals overseas and in
New Zealand, including a Gold Medal for its 1996 cabernet sauvignon, a Silver Medal for the 1997 sauvignon blanc, and a Gold for its 1997 Riesling.
State Hwy. 1, Waipara. & and fax 03/314-6777. www.waiparasprings.co.nz. Daily 11am-5pm for tastings and sales. Closed Dec 24-25.
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