An innovative dining experience which takes guests on a culinary adventure around wineries in the Queenstown region has been introduced by Alpine Wine Tours.
Owner operator, Emma Chisholm, says Queenstown Progressive Dinner Tours is a first for the Wakatipu Basin and visits wineries, particularly in Gibbston, which is a flagship for Central Otago wines.
“There was a gap in the market and I wanted to offer visitors the chance to experience some of the area’s finest food, wine and beer and the progressive dinner tours are the result. We’ve had a good response so far. Night-time activities in Queenstown are quite limited but with the dinner tours, guests can fill their days with activities and then spend a stress-free evening wining and dining. All they need to do is book and turn up, we take care of the rest.”
“The Queenstown Progressive Dinner Tours experience introduces people to some of the best food and beverages in the region, while taking guests through quintessential Queenstown scenery. There’s a gold theme everywhere we go – Kinross was once a trading post, there’s the once-rich Shotover River and of course the gold rush settlement of Arrowtown. The tour host explains the area’s wonderful history and we drive through some stunning places.”
The tours take up to eleven people and the company uses Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vehicles for the excursion.“ Groups are adult only so guests can relax and enjoy some grown-up time,” says Emma.
The dinner tours are a natural progression from Alpine Wine Tours’ existing business, which visits local wineries and craft breweries, including Kinross, Cargo Brewery and a tour of the Gibbston Valley wine cave, which is a recent addition.
“Gibbston is the Valley of the Vines. We take guests there on our afternoon wine tours so they can sample some of the region’s best wines and go behind the scenes at the incredible wine cave. I think it’s a fascinating experience and it’s really special that guests can sample not just the new release wines, but older vintages too,” says Emma.
Both the Alpine Wine Tours are family owned and operated by Emma and director Lee Saunders. With more than 60 years of family history in the Central Otago region, they provide an authentic and stand out Kiwi hospitality experience.
Wining and Dining
Emma Chisholm’s concept for Queenstown Progressive Dinner Tours was influenced by people on her wine tours continually asking for restaurant recommendations in Queenstown and Arrowtown.
She says being pescatarian she understands the importance of choices being available for all appetites and diet types on the new tour.
“At Canyon Brewery, there’s three food pairings with great veggie options. It changes seasonally, but I recently had their jackfruit bao and it was divine – sometimes vegetarian food can be a bit lacking, but that’s not the case here.”
The tours offer some of her favourite wines.
“I love Grant Taylor’s Valli Pinot Noirs, the Pinot Gris at Kinross called ‘Liquid Gold’ and of course Wild Irishman wines by the local godfather of wine, Alan Brady.”