Wine Lovers Adventure Down Under Part 1: 9-night/10-day New Zealand Wine Tour
New Zealand is world-famous for its sauvignon blanc and is responsible more than any other wine region for defining the modern interpretation of this grape. New Zealand comprises two long thin islands that run north-south with noticeable differences in temperature. The top of North Island is actually sub-tropical and the bottom of the larger South Island is temperate. Overall New Zealand has a relatively mild climate but with certain areas more suitable for different grape varieties.
Auckland is the gateway city to New Zealand as well as the largest city. It does have a wine producing region Kumeu River and West Auckland including small wineries on the island of Waiheke. Moving south in the North Island on the way to the first major wine region, our wine tour will pass Rotorua, with thermal activity, boiling mud pools, geysers and hot springs, and the largest Maori population of the country.
Napier is the next big city and home of Hawke’s Bay, the oldest wine region in New Zealand and the second largest. It is also the leading producer of full-bodies red wines, with 80% of the country’s plantings of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah grapes.
Wellington is at the very end of North Island and is the connecting point by ferry between the two islands. Nearby Martinborough is at the center of Wairarapa’s wine experience, with some of the best pinot noirs produced in New Zealand.
South Island lays claim to some of the most famous wine regions in the country. Blenheim is in the Marlborough region, famous for its Sauvignon Blanc. With 90% of the country’s sauvignon blanc plantings, Marlborough is allegedly the world’s Sauvignon Blanc capital.
One other region on the South Island that is quickly gaining notoriety for its wines is Central Otago and Queenstown, producing some of the best Pinot Noir in the world.
Our 9 night, New Zealand wine tour will of course feature our unique combination of wine, local cuisine and culture. You’ll most certainly feel more enlightened about New Zealand wines after this adventure, but for the ultimate Down Under wine experience, you’ll also want to join us on our Australia Wine Tour immediately after.
Where we’ll be staying on this wine tour
Wine Tour Highlights:
- 9-nights/10 days with stays in Auckland, Napier-Hawkes Bay, Wellington, Blenheim-Marlborough
- Breakfast daily and 9 sumptuous lunches or dinners
- VIP winery visits and tastings
- Activities and sightseeing
- Airport Transfers
- Ferry crossing to South Island
What customers are saying:
The Bordeaux tours this past May were the best ever: best wine, best food, best company and best visits. Thank you for this experience.
Margie & Neill Bassford Over 15 tours with Wine Lovers Tours Virginia March 26, 2012
The visit to Siena and surrounding hill towns was wonderful and we really enjoyed everything about the experience. Things have certainly changed since our visit there with you 15 years Continue Reading
Beverly & Jerry Foster multiple tours with Vin & WLT including Tuscany 2012 California March 26, 2012
I enjoyed Tuscany and Emilia Romagna, a great blend of wine, food and sight-seeing. We went as tourists to places where few tourists go, and the cooking class with Sergio Continue Reading
William Riccitelli, Esq March 26, 2012
I highly recommend treating yourself to an enjoyable tour guided by a true wine aficionado. Vin was enthusiastic, friendly and very knowledgeable. The trip exceeded my expectations, everything was absolutely Continue Reading
Carolina G Interior Designer Aventura, FL April 17, 2015
I agree wholeheartedly with the arguments for a guided tour vs one on your own. I have done both, and will only go on my own to a country I Continue Reading
L. Riess North Carolina July 21, 2012
All I can say is your tours are much better than most tours because they are small group and, from my experience, you seem to take into account the fact Continue Reading
C. DelFavero Connecticut June 21, 2012
You left out one of my favorite benefits of going on an organized tour: No driving! Just get on the bus and read, nap, or follow the map! After a Continue Reading
Heidi McLean Founder - To Your Taste!® Wine Party Kit Maryland April 21, 2012
The Bordeaux “101” and “201” trips exceeded our expectations and after traveling with you to Uruguay and Argentina, our expectations were high. We were not “newbe’s” to Bordeaux, but our Continue Reading
Barbara & Bruce Adams California April 21, 2012
"Thanks for another great tour. You are a master at putting together interesting, innovative and surprising tours with a combination of fine wine, good food and interesting culture. Each of Continue Reading
Bill Pugh Veteran of Vin's Tours Pennsylvania April 21, 2012
July just wasn't July without being on a wine trip with you, so enclosed is my Burgundy deposit...! Since my first trip with you was Champagne and Burgundy 1990, it Continue Reading
Penny Marland Veteran of Vin's Tours Connecticut April 21, 2003
Thank you again for two wonderful tours. Piedmont was outstanding and Tuscany was super. I have just completed putting our pictures in a scrapbook, so I was able to relive Continue Reading
Elaine Lazarus Veteran of Wine Lovers Tours California April 21, 2014
Mike and I enjoyed the trip to Sicily and the good food and wine. Hope to go on another wine tour.
Audrey Siska First time traveler with WLT in 2002 Virginia April 21, 2009
Thanks again for the great trips. The winery visits in Piedmont and Tuscany, the wine, the food, and the company were wonderful. Everything was well organized and balanced thanks to Continue Reading
Marge Bassford Virginia April 21, 2014
"We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in Rioja. ‘Don Reyes' was a highlight for me and you were at your best. I look forward to Sicily and future trips."
Harvey Kaufman Wine Lovers Alumni Tennessee April 21, 2013
Thank you so much for the wonderful tour of Tuscany complete with a great group of travelers, excellent wine, food and accommodations. In addition we visited many places and with Continue Reading
Dr. André Laz Wine Lovers Tours Alumnus Florida April 21, 2012
We think and talk often of our wonderful trip to France! Recently, at a couples group we belong to, we were asked to share what our favorite trip together was Continue Reading
The Tylers New Hampshire April 21, 2010
"I'm looking forward to another great 'Life experience.' Your planning and execution are always memorable."
Julie Owen Connecticut April 21, 2005
We found the tour exhilarating, educational and very comprehensive. The accommodations were excellent... and transportation was excellent. Vin, you are a rare person who enjoys France and displays a degree Continue Reading
Jerry & Beverly Foster Wine Lovers Tours Alumni California April 21, 2004
Hard to improve on this trip!
The Van Dorens Florida April 21, 2004
Another superb Marottoli wine tour is behind us, and we are left with happy memories and some photos, a few of which are enclosed. What a photogenic family! That last Continue Reading
Penny Marland Connecticut April 21, 2004
Your French was a major bonus for us, making it possible to communicate with winemakers without being limited to whatever English they could muster.
Don Janson Michigan April 21, 2012
Just a note to say I received the itinerary for the trip to Spain and I am overwhelmed by the quality of the visits you have arranged. I am looking Continue Reading
Ric Accola Connecticut April 21, 2012
We would like to thank you for a wonderful, marvelous, fabulous and unforgettable trip to the Rhone Valley and French Riviera. In reviewing our photos, we realize how much we Continue Reading
Regina & Lee Steeneck Connecticut April 21, 2010
I enjoyed meeting all of you on a wine and travel lovers dream come true. In many ways it was a 'trip of a lifetime!' I certainly hope that you Continue Reading
Tom Fries Ohio April 21, 2010
It's true that we have spent a very enjoyable week together and just as before, I have wonderful memories of the group. The success of your tours is due essentially Continue Reading
Philippe Ban Vin's bus driver in the Rhone Valley France April 21, 2010
My Spain trip was one of the best I have ever been on. As a 'first-timer,' I really did not know what to expect and so was delighted with everything. Continue Reading
Mary Beth Stockman Connecticut April 21, 2009
We want to thank you for making our first trip abroad such a great success. Your planning and attention to the little details allowed us to experience the French people Continue Reading
Bill & Dolores Dabney New Jersey April 21, 1998
I want to express our appreciation to you and Roz for the wonderful trip to California. Everything was perfect. The selection of wineries was thoughtful and well balanced. The reception Continue Reading
Jack Landau Connecticut April 21, 2009
Both Gail and I enjoyed the whole trip immensely! The pace was just about right and the food and wine were great. We especially enjoyed the barrel tasting and we Continue Reading
Gail & Charles Bock Utah April 21, 2008
Thank you for another great tour- that makes 7 for us. The Veneto, Austria and Hungary itineraries had the correct balance of wineries, cities and great friends.
Anne & Mike Hickey Utah April 21, 2008
I know wine, and Vin Marottoli's Wine Lovers Tours are a must stop on the world wine scene. Vin's presentation is vino-perfect as he combines wine, travel, and culture into Continue Reading
Judge Bill Riccitelli Rhode Island April 21, 2008
Thank you for a lovely and most interesting and definitely educational trip to Austria and Hungary. Always enjoy traveling with you and your darling family.
Carolyn Kachman South Carolina April 21, 2009
We wanted to thank you for the fine trips to Northeast Italy, Austria and Hungary. Over the years Carol and I have done a lot of touring in wine areas, Continue Reading
Carol & Charlie Goolsbee Texas April 21, 2009
Just want to express my thanks and appreciation for yet another outstanding wine tour! Your recent tour of Northeast Italy-with stays in Venice, Verona and Trento- was my 8th trip Continue Reading
Heidi McLain Maryland April 21, 2009
Now that we have fully recovered from our 3 week trip to France we want to thank you for such a wonderful trip to the Loire Valley and Burgundy. We Continue Reading
Dr. André and Peggy Laz Florida April 21, 2007
We had a great time in France. We especially enjoyed the guides we had at several of the vineyards and their discussions of how the mineral content of the layers Continue Reading
Rich & Kathy Heffernan Connecticut April 21, 2008
Thank you for the wonderful newsletter. We truly loved the time we spent with you and Roz and who could forget the night your daughter became engaged!! The whole experience Continue Reading
Randy & Nikki Huisenga Connecticut April 21, 2007
We're looking forward to the wine, the truffles, the scenery, the company, the vowel movements, and yes...even the frog! See you soon.
Linda & Dave Holzinger Florida April 21, 2005
I always thought the Spain/Portugal trip was my favorite. But it's a tie with "Wine and Truffles" now. Where do you find such great people to take the tours?
LaVera Nagle South Carolina April 21, 2004
Traveling with Vin Marottoli to visit the very best vineyards and meet winemakers around the world is pure pleasure. His trips are fun, exciting and informative. You get into the Continue Reading
John & Karen Schneider Connecticut April 21, 2007
If you get the chance to go on one of Vin Marottoli's wine and food tours, don't be afraid to venture out with his groups. My bet is that you Continue Reading
Don Kaiser Connecticut April 21, 2003
We had a wonderful time on your trip. We've been sharing our pictures, truffle stuff and stories with our friends here in California. Thank you.
John & Karen Hovannisian April 21, 2002
Thank you again for preparing such an enjoyable trip to Scotland. The castle tours were fun- and the cold/rainy weather made the scotch distillery tours even more warm and cozy. Continue Reading
Linda Velez Connecticut April 21, 2002
I really enjoyed the trip - it was the best tour I ever paid for. I liked the pace, people and price, hey, that's 3 p's! I like how you Continue Reading
Charlie Adler Washington, DC March 21, 2001
I just wanted to let you know that I (and Margie, of course) had a fabulous time on your Bordeaux tours this year. Great wines, great food, and great company Continue Reading
Neill Bassford Wine Maker - Elk Run Vineyards Virginia April 21, 2013
Vin, thanks for the recent newsletter. It brought back such great memories of our France/Italy truffle trips with you, as well as the outstanding trip we took with you to Continue Reading
Beverly & Jerry Foster California April 21, 2014
Once again, the Italy trips (our 10th with you!) this Fall were wonderful and much more interesting and easier than we could have done on our own. Visiting wineries we Continue Reading
Barbara & Bruce Adams California November 21, 2014
I agree with your analysis 100%. Great people, great food and wine, immersion in the local culture, and of course a terrific director/guide with lots of stories to tell! It Continue Reading
B. Corso Connecticut August 21, 2012
“Caro Vincenzo: As you could experience, we had as much pleasure as you! We did our best to make you and your group feel at home and enjoy your visit. Continue Reading
Daniel Pisano host of our visit to Pisano Winery Uruguay April 21, 2011
We are embarrassed that it has taken so long to thank you for a GREAT TRIP. We’ve already told several of our wine-loving friends about your tours and hope that Continue Reading
Joann & Paul Trujillo 1st time travelers Uruguay/Argentina ‘11 California April 21, 2011
I truly enjoyed our adventure to discover the wines of Southern France. I did my research ahead of time, but the trip down the Rhone River, then Provence, and ending Continue Reading
Judge Bill Riccitelli Rhode Island April 21, 2010
Just a quick note to again thank you for a wonderful Uruguay/ Argentina tour. Good fun, good time. I’m richer for your insight and efforts.
Brian McGee 1st time traveler Uruguay/Argentina ‘11 Colorado April 21, 2011
I had a wonderful time on the trip to Portugal/Spain. Everyone was so kind and helpful. It’s amazing how the group bonded and became a community.
Mimi Tellis First time traveler with Wine Lovers Tours California October 21, 2011
When traveling with Vin it feels like you are traveling with family. His attention to detail, preparation and knowledge make the trip so pleasurable and stress- free. His sense of Continue Reading
Mark Battista Conecticut markbattista.com October 21, 2011
I want to thank you for a WONDERFUL tour. I didn’t think we could have done more, seen more, eaten more or drunk more than we did on this trip. Continue Reading
Carol DelFavero First-time traveler with Wine Lovers Tours Connecticut April 21, 2012
Vin, respond to Thomas Heath (travel writer Washington Post) about your trips. He should write about your trips. They really do add value to the experience.
Susan Cecil Long-time traveler with Wine Lovers Tours Maryland April 21, 2012
I enjoyed Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna, a great blend of wine, food and sight seeing. We went as tourists to places where few tourists go and the cooking class with Sergio Continue Reading
Judge Bill Riccitelli Multiple tours with Wine Lovers Tours Rhode Island November 21, 2012
I really did mean it at our farewell dinner when I said the tour to Volpaia was one of the 10 best days of my life. Your tour was so Continue Reading
Joan O’Dowd First time traveler with Vin in 2012 Florida April 21, 2013
“Once again we had a wonderful time on your tour. The wineries, food and company were amazing and the country superb. Too much fun! We haven’t stopped talking about it.”
John & Karen Hovannisian California April 21, 2013
“La ringrazio e sono molto contento che vi siete trovati bene. Se vuole tornare bisogna solo avvertire, io l’aspetto.” (I thank you for your visit and am very happy that Continue Reading
Maurizio Vallona Enoteca Fattorie Vallona Emilia Romagna, Italy April 21, 2013
Just a note to tell you how much I enjoyed the trip. It was also great to get to meet you both after years of Jan saying how great you Continue Reading
Totsy Gano First-time traveler with Vin in 2013 Houston, TX April 21, 2013
What a wonderful travel experience to Tuscany! This is my 3rd tour with you and will not be my last.
Sue Simmat Connecticut November 21, 2012
There is a void in our lives right now as we are missing the joy of looking forward to our next ‘Vin trip.’ Can’t wait to get next year’s brochure Continue Reading
Bob & Judy Bruce Florida April 21, 2014
As always, we really enjoyed our recent trip with you. Croatia was even more beautiful than we expected and we certainly covered a lot of territory. The scenery was spectacular, Continue Reading
Bob & Maura Matthieu Connecticut November 21, 2013
Our trip to Chile is our 11th or 12th with you. We enjoy your small groups and on a scale of one to ten your trips are either nines or Continue Reading
Harvey Kaufman Tennessee April 21, 2014
It was a fabulous trip-interesting history, good wines, good food & best of all, good company. Thanks again!
Jan Lewis Houston, TX April 21, 2014
I want to tell you that I had a great experience in all ways: visits, wines, foods, hotels, driver and group all good. I do not identify with the "winery Continue Reading
Joe Nechasek Spain Rioja Region Wine Tour Connecticut January 15, 2016
So happy to meet you both! I did have a wonderful time and the "Gang" was a lot of laughs. So glad you're doing France in October. May can be Continue Reading
Vivienne Roberts Spain Rioja Region Wine Tour California January 15, 2016
Just a short note about the two fabulous wine tours to Northwestern Spain (Galicia) and Portugal I joined you on this year. Having traveled with you since your tour of Continue Reading
Neill Bassford Wine Maker - Elk Run Vineyards Virginia June 14, 2019