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Wine Tasting in Central Otago, New Zealand

Central Otago has become one of New Zealand’s fastest growing lifestyle and tourism destinations and is located on the South Island. At 45 degrees southern latitude it is considered to be the most southerly wine producing region in the world. The valley’s vineyards are protected by surrounding mountains providing the perfect environment for the microclimate that exists in Central Otago although many of the vineyards are planted at elevations that put them among the alpine scenery making for a most pleasing landscape. The growth of the wine industry in Central Otaga may be well illustrated by understanding that in 1996 there were only 11 wineries in the region and that over 75 are operating today. Central Otago wines have won awards at competitions throughout the world and are best represented by the Pinot Noirs which represent over 70% of the vines in production in Central Otago. A wine lover’s dream trip would not be complete without a visit to the Central Otago Wine Trail where over 30 wineries offer tastings, tours and meals. The area is most accessible through the New Zealand city of Queenstown. If you have dreamed about finding the next great Pinot Noir before the rest of the world then a trip to Central Otago is a must add for your list. In April 2003, Wine Spectator rated central Otago as one of the top 5 most exciting New World wine regions.
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