NZ South Island Grog Files

New Zealand – South Island

Breweries

Monteith’s

Type: Brewery

Rating: 4 sheets to the wind

Website: http://www.monteiths.co.nz/

Notes: When called back to a bachelor party in Las Vegas for his own former best man, Greg could have brought his choice of any variety of drinks…but he chose Monteith’s original ale.  A beer deemed “delicious” by the at-that-time bachelor & assorted cadre of miscreants.  When at a pub in New Zealand and a fellow American asked what he should try, we recommended the original ale and were thanked later for it.  We really did want to taste their whole line but honestly never got past the original ale and the summer ale both of which knocked our socks off.  Heavier than Mac’s, this stuff has fuller flavor and is just a good solid darker brew.  The summer stuff is a lighter version with just as much taste.

Speight’s

Type: Brewery

Rating: 2 sheets to the wind

Website: http://www.speights.co.nz/

Notes: An OK drinkable beer that suffers from stiff competition.  In New Zealand, there are better options.

Wineries

St. Clair

Type: Winery

Rating: 4 Sheets to the wind

Website: http://www.saintclair.co.nz/

Notes: The first and the best winery we went to in New Zealand (and people, that’s not a small compliment.  Kiwis know their wine making).  Tiffany, Greg and Mom all loved it.  All of it; not a single wine did we taste and not actively enjoy if not love.  We loved it so much that in the past few years we have flown home for 3 weddings.  Of all the wines, heck of all the gifts, we could have brought home for our dearest friends, we chose to bring a bottle of this place’s pinot noir.  We were profusely thanked each time by those to whom we bequeathed the bounty of the Kiwi grape.  Everything here was at least very good and a few of the wines are just exceptional.  As one of the first South Island wineries you run into off the inter island ferry, this place puts out a great lunch spread.

Grab a bottle, a cheese & fruit board and celebrate your arrival on the South Island in style!

Pegasus Bay

Type: Winery

Rating: 3 Sheets to the wind

Website: http://www.pegasusbay.com/

Notes:  Some good solid wines but nothing truly amazing.  The late picked Riesling was pricy for the region but very tasty.  They also have an off brand called “Main Divide” that would probably be worth looking into.

 Torlesse

Type: Winery

Rating: 3 Sheets to the wind

Website: http://www.torlesse.co.nz/

Notes:  Good variety of dessert wines.  Two important things – 1) Their average bottles of wine are inexpensive compared to other wineries for the area and 2) There was not a single wine on their lineup that we specifically did not like.

They favor the sweet stuff.  We particularly liked their creme cassis and port.  Their Gewurztraminer and their “sticky” Riesling was also particularly good.  Though they did have a reserve brand (Omni) we preferred the normal stuff.

Greystone

Type: Winery

Rating: 3 Sheets to the wind

Website: http://www.greystonewines.co.nz/

Notes:  We liked the pinot noir and we bought the Riesling.  Best chardonnay we’ve ever had, but then we’re not typically chardonnay people.

Hunter’s Winery

Type: Winery

Rating: 2 Sheets to the wind

Website: http://www.hunters.co.nz/

Notes: Desert wine was good.  Everything else was decent but not exceptional.

Allan Scott

Type: Winery

Rating: 2 Sheets to the wind

Website: http://www.allanscott.com/

Notes: Meh.  They were alright.  Mom dug the sauvignon blanc late harvest.

Framingham Winery

Type: Winery

Rating: 2 Sheets to the wind

Website: http://www.framingham.co.nz/

Notes:  Select Riesling was good along with some of their pinot noir.  Overall OK.

Fiddler’s Green

Type: Winery

Rating: 2 Sheets to the wind

Website: http://www.fiddlersgreen.co.nz/

Notes:  Decent drinkable chardonnay according to Tiffany.  Greg liked the pinot noir.  Both of us thought they had a decent classic riesling.  We didn’t like any enough to purchase.  Really didn’t like the rest.

 

See how the North Island stacks up over at NZ North Island Grog Files

 

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One Response to NZ South Island Grog Files

  1. wine making says:

    Planning a 16 day vacation touring the south island in April of 2008. Is this a good time to travel to New Zealand? Starting with 7 days in Queenstown, what would be the best day trips to make around Queenstown? Any special tours. Then planning a car tour up north. Maybe over to Haast for 1 night. Up to the Greymouth area. Eventually up to the Nelson area. Abel Tasmen is a must for us. 2 or 3 days there? Open to suggestions. Thinking of either flying back home out of Christchurch or Wellington? Possible wine country drive. Marborough sound trip? So many possibilities but would like to narrow it down to the best highlights, but have it be a relaxing pace and not extremely pricey. Open to a day or night here or there along the way. Not sure when we will be back so just want to make the most of our time there.

    Help!

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