7 best wineries near Queenstown

Central Otago Vinyards
Map Central Otago

The Central Otago region is world-famous for its wine. So here are Dels top seven picks for cellar doors that offer something special. All are within a short drive from Queenstown.

Best winery for pinot noir: Brennan Wines

The wine that Central Otago is best known for is pinot noir. It’s a big call picking a favourite from so many sensational options. But if it has to be done, my recommendation is Brennan Wines Pinot Noir. It is a small boutique winery that knows how to make exceptional wine. As a bonus, they have a relaxed outdoor area that’s perfect for sharing a lunchtime platter with friends.

Best winery for views: Chard Farm

The drive up to Chard Farm opens up spectacular views across Gibbston and the Kawarau River. It’s worth the trip for the view alone, but while you’re there it would be a crime not to visit their cellar door. It’s a good spot to try the local style of Chardonnay. Even though Chardonnay is often grown in similar areas to Pinot Noir, it is not common in Central Otago.

chard Farm

Best winery to relax on a Friday afternoon: Wet Jacket

On Friday afternoons over summer, Wet Jacket runs their famous-in-Queenstown summer sessions. They also do one of the best Rose’s around, perfect for Queenstown’s long hot summer evenings. The summer sessions don’t get overcrowded but be there early to claim a bean bag and grab a snack from the food truck.


Best winery for breakfast: Akarua

It’s breakfast time, so you might not be doing any wine tasting, but the Akarua cellar door is set in a lovely garden made for open-air eating. Better still, you can add on a walk around nearby Lake Hayes to make up for any over-indulgence.


Wet Jacket

Best winery to ship wine home: Gibbston Valley Wines

Gibbston Valley ships wine all around the world. Have a tasting in their wine cave to find your favourite then order a case and they’ll ship it to your home. It’s not cheap, but it will be a great reminder of your New Zealand holiday to share with friends at home.


Best winery for history buffs: Wild Earth

A bit further out in the Kawarau Gorge, Wild Earth sits beside the Goldfields Mining Centre. Take a tour through the gold mining relics and huts that drew the first settlers to the area. The guides will give you a great insight into how hard life was for the gold miners and their perseverance in pursuit of gold. You’ll get to try gold panning and maybe find some gold of your own. 

Wild Earth Wines

Best winery for fine dining: Amisfield

You will have to book well in advance to dine at Amisfield’s restaurant, but if you can be organised it is worth the effort. Or so I’ve been told by many people. Being a spur of the moment kind of person, I’ve always left it too late. Don’t be like me. You can ‘Trust the Chef’ to deliver an innovative degustation with wine pairings.

More articles on food and wine 

The Highly Palatable Guide to New Zealand Cuisine.
New Zealand Wine Regions & Tours

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Central Otago Winery Map

Central Otago Wine Map


Del Gorton
: 1 Oct 2019 (Last updated: 9 May 2021)

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