The wine traveller can indulge in luxury in our fourth largest wine-growing region.
Canterbury offers superb lifestyle accommodation, wining and dining at exquisite historic homestead vineyards. Equally luxurious haute cuisine, and excellent accommodation can also be found in the charming garden city of Christchurch.
The region has around 30 vineyards mainly concentrated on the flat alluvial silt loams of the Waimakiri River floodplain within an easy 30 minute drive of the city. Access to a small cluster of vineyards around Belfast can be gained via S.H.1, and a sizeable group can be reached via S.H.73, the West Coast Road. The road to the charming French colonial town of Akaroa on Banks Peninsula passes another group. The Canterbury vineyards can be traced back to 1840 when vines were first planted in Akaroa, but commercial development on the plains began in the 1970’s.
This region has much cooler temperatures than Marlborough, but growing conditions are aided by the long, dry summers and plentiful sunshine, which allow the grapes to ripen slowly and maintain good acidity levels. The down side is the risk of spring and autumn frosts in these southern latitudes. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the most widely planted varieties, followed by Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris.
Most of the vineyards have made a feature of their dining facilities and attract a regular clientele from the city and overseas tourists. The vineyards offer extensive collections of premium wines from New Zealand and around the world; to complement delicacies like Canterbury lamb, seafood, game meats, and other gourmet treats.
Allow yourself to be tempted to indulge in some fine living in this graceful city and its very accessible vineyards. Also take time to enjoy the beautiful parks, gardens, museums, galleries and prolific arts programmes in Christchurch.
Canterbury’s finest wines and culinary delights await you here.