Hospitality Business Magazine

Central Otago’s new twelve-day wine celebration promises to deliver the earth

rsz_central_otagoLabour Weekend will mark the opening of the first annual ‘Down to Earth’ celebration of wine in New Zealand’s Central Otago region, set to run from Saturday 24 October to Wednesday 4 November 2015.

This inaugural hands-on Celebration will give wine enthusiasts the chance to be immersed in uniquely interactive experiences only on offer during these special twelve days; many of which guarantee one-on-one time with renowned winemakers.

Central Otago’s tapestry of soils is the backdrop for a range of ‘roll your sleeves up’ activities that will see yeast lees hand disgorged from Methode Traditionnelle bottles at Quartz Reef or learning how chickens, goats and compost is all part of Felton Road’s biodynamic practices.

Many wine lovers will find a warm welcome inside the boutique Remarkable winery to see how wine is made, and others will be asked to literally ‘work for your lunch’ by joining gregarious Misha and her crew do shoot thinning, bud rubbing and lateral removal in the vineyard before dining on organically grown local produce al fresco.

More than 30 winegrowers are participating and there are scores of experiences, most have some form of wine tasting, and the reserves and great vintages are brought out alongside normal tastings. Visitors may be guided by Domaine-Thomson as they taste their very own Central Otago (Lowburn) and Burgundy (Gevrey-Chambertin) wines, or heli to the top of Ben Cruachan mountain in Gibbston valley to taste Brennan wines.

There will also be many food and wine experiences offered, including a long lunch at Wooing Tree, and food and wine being matched with the artwork at Carrick Wines. Queenstown restaurants will match their award-winning cuisine with special Central Otago wines.

Down to Earth is a Celebration for lovers of wine, who want more than a wine tour. This Celebration is aimed at visitors and locals with a desire to understand the nuances of wine making in the region and discover for themselves what’s earned Central Otago its world famous reputation.

“Bring your boots and raincoats, as well as your high heels and fur coats, and discover the vineyards, wineries and fine dining restaurants of the wider Central Otago region,” says Bruce McGechan, event director and wine enthusiast.

As the gateway to the Central Otago wine region, Queenstown Airport has daily direct flights from Australia’s East Coast and New Zealand’s main cities. From the airport, there’s easy access to the Central Otago wine subregions of Gibbston, Bannockburn, Bendigo, Lowburn, Pisa, Cromwell, Wanaka and Alexandra basin—all within 90 minutes of the alpine and lake resort Queenstown.

For more information on the all the events go to

Tickets are on sale now and most events have limited numbers.