Less than one hour drive from Christchurch and Hanmer Springs, the Waipara Valley is a relatively new wine region in New Zealand, with production first established in 1978.

However, this North Canterbury wine region is already making a name for itself, with aromatic wines and luxurious cellar doors.

Wine types produced in Waipara Valley

Christchurch - Canterbury
View from Greystone Vineyard, Waipara, Christchurch - Canterbury

Often recorded as the driest location in New Zealand, the long hot summers and cool winters in Waipara provide grapes with a long ripening time.

Silky pinor noir and citrusy chardonnay grow well in the stony limestone terrain in the valley. Also, the area produces award-winning aromatics; zesty riesling and delicate pinot gris.

Wine and food festival

Christchurch - Canterbury
Waipara Winery, Christchurch - Canterbury

Attracting visitors from all over New Zealand and overseas, the North Canterbury Wine and Food Festival(opens in new window) showcases the very best of Waipara Valley wine and food. Taking place during summer under the shade of old oak trees, local musicians and performers entertain the 4,000 festival lovers. 

Tussock Hill Vineyard Cellar Door Restaurant

Christchurch - Canterbury
Tussock Hill Vineyard Dining, Christchurch - Canterbury

Tussock Hill Vineyard(opens in new window) is not actually one vineyard but two. While the main vineyard is in Waipara Valley, North Canterbury, Tussock Hill has a second, boutique vineyard in the Port Hills, 15 minutes’ drive from the Christchurch city centre.

Here you’ll find the Tussock Hill Cellar Door and Restaurant, which serves exceptional food alongside Tussock Hill’s organic wines.

Head chef Jackson Mehlhopt has created an impressive menu using local ethically- sourced ingredients. Dishes change with the seasons, but previous line-ups have included dry aged gamefish, daikon, orange and fermented kūmara dressing, magnolia and rhubarb granita, and Milmore Down’s onion braised grain risotto. If they’re serving triple-cooked Agria potatoes with onion dip, don’t pass this up.

Unique vineyard experiences in Waipara Valley 

Gorgeous milky way view over the Greystone PurePod , New Zealand

Departing from either Christchurch or Akaroa, Canterbury Winery Heli-Tour(opens in new window) will take you on a spectacular scenic flight over Waipara vineyards. Landing in style at local wineries for tastings, lunch and relaxing country-views. 

Strategically placed to make the most of the scenic views and stargazing, Greystone PurePod(opens in new window) is located above award-winning Greystone vineyard. Sleep under the Milky Way in this unique winery accommodation. 

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