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The vineyards in this region are generally not big and glamorous. Here, wineries are mostly family-owned and that means you sometimes even get to meet a winemaker, or a winemaker's wife. Some vineyards have cafes set amongst the vines, while others have simple tasting rooms - with the occasional welcoming labrador too.
The bike is an ideal way to explore the flat wine country of the Waimea Plains. This area of the trail is ideally located for a single day ride, or the first day of a longer multi day trip. The off-road trail leads cyclists from the town into the countryside, passing through vineyards and charming rural landscapes.
The Gentle Cycling Company provides tasty single day tours and multi day trips on the Great Taste Cycle Trail and are situated just 5 minutes from Nelson Airport. Here are their suggestions for places to visit during a gentle cycling trip on the Great Taste Trail.
Richmond Plains and Te Mania Estate Vineyards
This is a vineyard tasting room serving wines from two family-owned wineries. Visitors can taste a wide range of wines here including award-winning organic biodynamic wines from Richmond Plains. And look out for the sculptures on the grass next to the tasting room - made of grapevines.
Cellar Door Cafe, Waimea Estates
The location of this cellar door and cafe makes it a popular choice when cycling in the wine country. Located just 100m off the trail, the menu includes small tasting plates of local flavour-treats, matched with the wines from the estate.
HQ Cafe, Brightwater
This cafe is situated in the pretty village of Brightwater, where the great cafe is generally buzzing with cyclists. There are a good number of colonial buildings in the village (this area is rich in history) and a charming churchyard and bush walk.
McCashins Brewery, Kitchen & Bar
This iconic Nelson institution is easily accessible off the Great Taste Trail and could be the perfect place to relax with a tasting tray of local craft beers or some cider made from local Nelson apples. Cheers to that!
For more information about cycling on the Great Taste Trail visit our website www.gentlecycling.co.nz.