Nelson’s famously creative local culture extends to wine making in a multitude of privately owned boutique vineyards.
Benefiting from a sunny, maritime climate, the picturesque valley vineyards of Nelson yield some of New Zealand’s most freshly scented, intensely flavoured sauvignon blanc and chardonnay, as well as vibrant, supple pinot noir.
Even though it is among the smaller wine regions of the country, Nelson’s wines are internationally acclaimed for their high quality. Its winemakers are recognised for crafting wonderfully drinkable wines that stand apart from the typical commercial styles.
Wines from Neudorf Vineyards have found their way onto the wine lists of several great European restaurants, and Kaimera Estate wines are exported to the UK, Ireland, Singapore and the USA.
The award-winning Woolaston Estate is a beautiful place to visit and is also home to a significant collection of stunning sculptures and artwork. The Gallery at Woolaston hosts a changing programme of exhibitions by national and international artists and is open year-round.
Grapes are grown in the Moutere Hills and Waimea Plains, and you can visit most of the wineries in a single day. There are plenty of guided tours. Like the neighbouring Marlborough region, cycling is a great way to discover the vineyards and enjoy Nelson’s beauty. Hire a bike and ride Nelson's Great Taste Trail to experience the best in the region.
When out and about tasting wine, keep your eye out for eating opportunities. A variety of artisan food producers will tempt you with breads, chocolates, pesto, chutneys, honey and jams, fine meats and salami. The local cafes and restaurants make the most of the abundant fresh produce and seafood. The culinary approach here, much like its wine crafting, is about creating rather producing, and savouring rather than consuming.