Cromwell vineyards create walking wine trail

The 4 Barrels Walking Wine Trail vineyard participants: Carolyn Murray, of Scott Base, Misha Wilkinson, of Misha's ...
Jo McKenzie-McLean

The 4 Barrels Walking Wine Trail vineyard participants: Carolyn Murray, of Scott Base, Misha Wilkinson, of Misha's Vineyard, Jane Bews, of Wooing Tree Vineyard and Lucie Lawrence, of Aurum Wines.

Four Cromwell vineyards have come together to create the town's first walking wine trail.

The self-paced eight kilometre loop trail includes Misha's Vineyard, Aurum Wines, Scott Base and Wooing Tree Vineyard and follows a route through orchards and around Lake Dunstan.

Misha Wilkinson, of Misha's Vineyard said the trail provided an easy way for tourists and locals to navigate around four of Central Otago's premium wine producers by foot, and it captured some great scenery along the way.                                                        

The 4 Barrels Walking Wine Trail vineyard participants: Carolyn Murray, of Scott Base, Misha Wilkinson, of Misha's ...
Jo McKenzie-McLean

The 4 Barrels Walking Wine Trail vineyard participants: Carolyn Murray, of Scott Base, Misha Wilkinson, of Misha's Vineyard, Jane Bews, of Wooing Tree Vineyard and Lucie Lawrence, of Aurum Wines.

The total walking time on the trail was about 90 minutes and could be be completed in three and a half hours, assuming 30-minute stops at each tasting room.

The trail time could be extended if a lunch break was included along the way. At three of the tasting rooms there was lunch and/or platters available or people could take a picnic and find a scenic spot along the way.

"Together we offer an incredibly diverse range of wines which really showcases the depth and diversity of this amazing winegrowing region. As well as being able to taste Central Otago's famous pinot noir, wine selections include pinot gris, rosé, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, gewürztraminer, riesling, sparkling and dessert style wines, port and even a beer option at one of the Tasting Rooms."

The initiative for the trail was prompted by the increase in the number of tasting rooms that had opened in close proximity to Cromwell's town centre, as well as the rise in tourism across the region, Wilkinson said.

The Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show that the Central Otago region was up nine per cent to $190 million in visitor spending for the year ending June 2017. According to Tourism New Zealand, 24 per cent of tourists arriving in the country take part in a wine experience, up from 13 per cent in 2014, and wine tourists stay longer and spend more than the average visitor.

NZ Winegrowers, the national industry body, has partnered with Tourism New Zealand to further promote wine tourism experiences as international visitor data showed how important wine experiences were to visitors, she said.

The trail was the brainchild of Keeley Gillan, of Misha's Vineyard's tasting room.

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"It is a really interactive, social activity and I am a huge fan of encouraging people to get out and be active," Gillan said.

The 4 Barrels Walking Wine Trail brochure included an illustrated trail map designed by South American artists Marcelilla Pilla and Leandro Baud, who now lived in New Zealand.

Having successfully won the map design competition, sponsored by the four participating wineries and promoted on social media, the skills of the two artists so impressed the wineries that they were then commissioned to produce the entire brochure.

Walke could visit all four tasting rooms to gain a stamp on the brochure's passport page in order to enter the quarterly draw to win a mixed case of wine from the participating wineries.

The trail is free and the only costs that could be incurred were wine tasting fees (depending on the policy of the tasting rooms) which are redeemable on a purchase, as well as optional food purchases.

Brochures are now available at the Cromwell I-Site, Cromwell accommodation providers and at each of the participating tasting rooms.

 - Stuff

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