Nelson has a vast selection of over 40 boutique wineries and vineyards that skillfully produce and craft exquisite wines of the region. Travel to Nelson and then a little into the countryside to meet the winemakers themselves. There is the opportunity to enjoy a fabulous lunch or dinner at one of the awesome vineyard cafes, select and buy some fantastic wines for your cellar. The grape varieties are impressive though mostly Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc with some Riesling, Pinot Gris, and Gewurztraminer. The unique mesoclimate is perfect for aromatic grape varieties. Nelson vineyards are well known for its large grape harvests. Nelson's beginnings in wine come from the mid-1800s when German settlers planted the areas first grapevines to produce wine. From the middle of 1900,s producers began to establish the modern wine industry in the area and most are still proving successful.
The Nelson weather is vital to the success of the crops. The vineyards have a normally sunny climate that is alleviated by sea breezes coming off the Tasman Sea. Nelson can have an extended growing season due to the warm summers which are followed by long, dry autumns. Warm days that are followed by cooler nights allow the grapes to retain acidity while developing phenolic ripeness. It is this difference between the highest temperature of the day and the lowest temperature of the night that assists the grape to ripen to its best form. The hot days assist in sugar accumulation, while the cooler night-time temperatures preserve acidity. This makes Nelson so well suited to most of the aromatic grape varieties. The white wines are most often recognised by fruity and citrus aromas and tastes on the palate.
Wineries and Vineyards of the Nelson Region:
We offer a brief description of a few of the many Nelson Vineyards and Wineries below, though do take a look at the following link and perform a little research to find ones that would match your palate and preferences.
Neudorf Vineyards: 03-543 2643
Located in Upper Moutere and offering a wide selection of wine varieties including Chardonnay, Riesling, Albarino, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Rose and Pinot Noir. Their wines have won a number of accolades and awards and so the Cellar door is well worth a visit! There is no restaurant but they do have a deli! What’s better than to have some cheese to compliment your wine! Also, mixed cured meats are available along with an assortment of crackers.
Open Monday - Friday | 11am - 4pm
Brightwater Vineyards: 03-544 1066
Situated on Main Rd Hope the Brightwater Vineyards planted their first vines in 1993, and in 2003 the winery was built. Their wines have earned an excellent reputation both nationally and internationally and have achieved many awards and gold medals. Their wine-maker Tony Southgate was awarded Winemaker of the Year in 2012. The business has steadily grown year on year. The choices on offer include Riesling, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, and vibrant reds such as Merlot and Pinot Noir
The Brightwater Cellar Door is an awesome opportunity to taste some wine and relax with scenic views across plains to the western ranges.
Opening Hours: 11-4.30pm from the start of October up till the end of May.
Kahurangi Estate: 03-543 2980
Also located in Upper Moutere the Kahurangi Estate is a family-owned business. A boutique vineyard that has been committed to making quality hand-made premium wines. The wine varieties produced are as follows: Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Gewürztraminer in white varieties and reds such as Syrah, Merlot and Pinot Noir. The Cellar door provides a great wine and food menu and even have some beer and cider selections for those not loving the grape!
Rimu Grove Vineyard: 03-540 2345
The Rimu Grove Vineyards were planted 24 years ago in Bronte Road. A full 7-hectare mix of vines including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris planted on the Bronte Peninsula overlooking the Waimea Inlet. The Cellar door is an old bach set at the top of their vineyards providing superb scenery of the local area. Being a rather small vineyard you will usually be served by a winemaker otherwise a cellar door staff member will be available.
Seifried Estate Winery: 03-544 5599
You will find Seifried's, a longstanding Nelson Vineyard and winery on Redwood Road in Appleby. Their cellar door is open daily for both tastings and wine sales. It is based very close to the winery at the Rabbit Island vineyard. Bottle varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and dessert wines are available. For sure there is something to please all palates!
Cellar Door Open: 10:00am to 4:00pm (Monday - Sunday)
Waimea Estate: 03-544 6385
Located on the Appleby highway positioned on the Waimea plains Waimea produce some amazing wines that reflect the aromas and tastes of the region. Translated from Maori Waimea means “river gardens” the selection of wines include Chardonnay, Riesling, Albarino, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Rose, Gewürztraminer, Syrah and Pinot Noir. Currently, there is no Cellar Door or Wine tasting experience available though you can purchase online through their website.
Fossil Ridge Boutique Vineyard: 03-544 9463
Fossil Ridge is a family managed and owned vineyard offering a great selection of reasonably priced wines. They are positioned at 72 Heart Road Richmond and offer a good selection of handcrafted wines from Chardonnay, Riesling, Rose, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Noir. Their Cellar door and Café which is set in a picturesque, scenic location serves platters, lunches, desserts and coffee. Opening Hours are summer only from Wednesdays to Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm
Wine & Brewery Tours:
There are multiples offerings in Nelson for Wine and Beer tours for either half day or full day as your schedule permits. Most provide a selection of a 2-3 Vineyards and 2 Breweries. There are also private hire companies that can organise a daily tour for you to your researched favourites.