You deserve a day of being transported around some of the fantastic wineries that Akaroa and Banks Peninsula have to offer. This privately driven tour explores some of the area’s well known and smaller wineries and a chance to really indulge and enjoy the local produce whilst being transported by private driver. Highlights on this private adventure include: Wine tasting at at the spectacular Meniscus wine lounge, French Peak Vineyard an organic boutique vineyard situated on the volcanic plains of Banks Peninsula, a stroll around the French Village of Akaroa taking in the incredible sites and sounds of the harbour, galleries, arts and craft stalls and cafes and cheese tasting at Barry’s Bay. Sit back Relax and enjoy a day of wining, dining and relaxing while we take care of the planning.
Starting out in Christchurch we can arrange pick up at a hotel or residence of your choosing and your Banks Peninsula adventure begins. Driving through the Canterbury Plains our first stop is just near the village of Tai Tapu at Cross Hare Wines, a single vineyard situated at an elevation of 10-40 metres above sea level. The name ‘Cross Hare’ owes to the fact that hares run across and sit under the vines throughout the property. Some of the wine varieties include their signature Ahuriri Run Pinot Gris and Fork in the Road Pinot Noir. Spend some time getting acquainted with the varieties at this traditional hillside winery steeped in tradition.
Further down the road you may wish to have a stop in the charming village of Little River and the aptly known Little River Gallery. Housed in an architecturally-interesting building, The Little River Gallery features regularly changing exhibitions from a wide range of exciting established and emerging artists with a real focus on local and New Zealand Artists and Craftspeople.
Over the hilltop and its on to Banks Peninsula’s Barry’s Bay Cheese Factory.When Barrys Bay Cheese produced its first cheddar in 1895, it was just one of nine small, family-owned dairy cooperatives dotted around Banks Peninsula. Today the factory offers visitors a glimpse into the wonderful world of cheese making and a piece of New Zealand’s local dairy history. Spend some time tasting some of the delectable cheese ranges including their signature cheddar, aged cheese, Havarti and Blue.
From here we will visit an organic winery, French Peak. This Boutique Vineyard is located in the centre of an ancient volcano on the shore of Akaroa harbour, Banks Peninsula. Run organically and Biodynamically by French Vigneron, Renan Cataliotti, their aim to respect the soil and craft the best Pinot noir, Chardonnay, Pinot gris and Rosé from their very unique and special terroir. We will enjoy a taste of their local specialties including the French Peak chardonnay. There is the option here to enjoy a tasting platter with your tasting if you wish (optional additional cost).
Our next stop for the day is Meniscus Wines. Having a passion for food and wine, David and Gay Epstein purchased the vineyard at end of 2008. David, an internationally renown architect (now retired) and Gay, a craft enthusiast in spinning and weaving, are both now living their dream at the Meniscus Vineyard. We will enjoy some time here indulging in the vintage as well as a tasting platter featuring a selection of local gourmet snacks including mouth watering cheeses, produce from local charcuteries, olives from the peninsula and Akaroa Salmon. Gay also has a passion for monarch butterflies and these can be viewed on request in her new monarch butterfly enclosure.
After a day of indulgence we will head into the Akaroa Village and take a stroll at leisure through the French Village marvelling at the picturesque seaside views, galleries, shops and perhaps take in a coffee at one of the many charming cafes.
After an incredible day of wine and gourmet indulgence, we will make the return trip to Christchurch where you will be transported to your hotel or residence of choice.
*Transport by private vehicle to and from Christchurch
*1 x day services of one of our expert knowledgeable local driver guides
*Wine tasting at boutique establishments listed above
*Visit to Barry’s Bay Cheese Factory and tasting
*Tasting Platter at Mensicus Wines
Based on 2 x pax = $385 NZD per person
Based on 3 x pax = $299 NZD per person
Based on 4 x pax = $259 NZD per person
* Please enquire for pricing on larger parties