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Food and Wine in Central Otago

Mt Difficulty Queensland
greenvines pisa range

Food and Wine in Central Otago

story by: House of Travel

The South Island of New Zealand is home to a wonderful array of wining and dining experiences, which makes it a wonderful holiday destination. 

Rug up and head down south for a taste of what's on offer. Here are some of the highlights when it comes to food and wine. 

The stunning village of Queenstown houses a range of culinary wonders, from cute hole-in-the-wall cafes to sweet treat shops and top-of-the-line restaurants. 

One such restaurant is Rata. This is owned and operated by internationally recognised, and sometime television personality, chef Josh Emett, along with local star restaurateur Fleur Caulton.

It's a special dining destination for a number of reasons. It takes inspiration from New Zealand's southern landscape with plenty of stone and wood and provides a relaxing space away from the bustle of Queenstown's inner-centre at 43 Ballarat St. 

The service is of the highest quality and you can choose to dine inside or in the courtyard area. Opt for a lunch, dinner or bar snacks, with a plethora of comforting slow-cooked dishes on offer. Don't forget that Josh Emett is Michelin-starred, so you know it's going to be good. 

The wine list is undoubtedly a highlight with a number of delicious drops from the Otago region in particular, but also featuring wines from across New Zealand the globe. 

For a more casual bite to eat, you can't miss Queenstown's much-loved Fergburger at 42 Shotover Street. The line to order is renowned for stretching around the corner, so head in at an off-peak time to sample one of these famously large and utterly delicious burgers with a side of chunky fries. 

When you're in the mood for a sweet treat, head to the Remarkable Sweet Shop at 27 Buckingham Street and take your pick from its mouthwatering range of fudge and nougat, not to mention it's giant selection of other chocolates and sweets. 

The Central Otago wine region
As of 2013, the Central Otago region had 1,909 total wine-producing hectares - so you can expect a lot of gorgeous vineyards! From Pinot Noir, which takes up the majority of that land, to Sauvignon Blanc and other varietals.

There are over 150 wineries in the area and you can explore a bunch of them.
The Perseverance Estate, located in the Alexandra Basin, is home to dramatic scenery and delectable Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris grapevines. Tastings are available by appointment, so don't miss out.

Two Paddocks is another highlight, producing top-notch Pinot Noir and run by our home-grown actor Sam Neill. If you want to visit the vineyard, you can call and make an appointment for a tour. 

The Cellar Door at Mt Difficulty Vineyard is also a must-see. Serving up Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Pinot Rose, you'll want to savour plenty of their flavours. Then step into the The Winery Restaurant for a spot of mouthwatering lunch with a view to match.

Be sure to make a stop off in the gorgeous village of Arrowtown, just a 20 minute drive from Queenstown. A former hub of gold-mining, there's plenty to see, do, explore and of course, taste. One of the most impressive wineries to visit is Amisfield Winery, located at Lake Hayes, just a 5 minute drive away. Not only does it produce stunning Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Riesling, the Amisfield Bistro serves up delicious fresh and seasonal dishes and is globally-renowned.

Or you could sample a French-inspired meal at Bonjour, 25 Ramshaw Lane or indulge in some serious fine dining at Saffron Restaurant, Buckingham Street. 

One thing's for sure on a holiday to the South Island - you'll never go hungry. 

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