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 Filed as : Regional SpotlightNew Zealand

Extreme Wine Tasting

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  • Publish Date: Dec 1, 2009

As the air gets chillier and chillier up North, our friends in the Southern Hemisphere are enjoying longer days with more sunlight (must be nice). Whether you’re hunting for last-minute travel deals this holiday season or planning your trips for 2010, a vacation to New Zealand could be what the doctor ordered. Even if you’re just living vicariously through a bottle of Central Otago Pinot Noir, however, you’ll be in good cheer.

Central Otago is a “must stop” on the wine tour of New Zealand. For starters, it’s only a short drive from one of the country’s most popular destinations, Queenstown. After bungy jumping at the Kawarau Bridge, jet-boating up the Shotover River (Lord of the Rings country), and exploring the exquisite Milford Sound, you’ll be ready to continue indulging in the spectacular Kiwi terrain—this time with a glass of wine in tow.

Central Otago is the world’s southern most wine-producing region. Its unique climate has proven an excellent place to grow Pinot Noir, the grape for which the area is most famous. While much of New Zealand is influenced by a maritime climate, the mountainous peaks surrounding Central Otago protect its vineyards, providing long, dry summers and cold winters. It’s difficult to say what will have you swooning more, the divine Pinot Noir or the breathtaking landscape.

For the Pinot lovers out there, be sure to keep your eye out for Central Otago’s Mt. Difficulty. Their wines range from the more affordable “Roaring Meg” to several vineyard designates that will make any Pinot person a happy camper.

Discover the beauty and bounty of Central Otago at

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