Escape to Nelson: Your Guide to the Region’s Best Wineries

People enjoying wine tasitng at a private vineyard.
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Picture yourself and your loved ones surrounded by sun-drenched vineyards, a glass of world-class Sauvignon Blanc in hand as you drink in the stunning scenery of Nelson, New Zealand. The aromas of ripe fruit and fragrant flowers fill the air as you embark on the wine-tasting tour of a lifetime. Whether you’re a couple looking for a romantic getaway, friends on a weekend away, or a family seeking a fun-filled experience, Nelson welcomes you. Prepare to tantalise your taste buds, uncover breathtaking landscapes, and create unforgettable memories in this charming region.

Unearthing Nelson’s Wine Secrets

Blessed with abundant sunshine and a refreshing maritime climate, Nelson’s idyllic vineyards produce some of the most enchanting wines in New Zealand. 

Despite its small size, Nelson boasts a proud legacy as the home of the South Island’s first commercial vineyard. The region’s innovative spirit shines through in its diverse range of varietals, where you’ll taste the passion and expertise poured into every bottle. From exquisite Sauvignon Blancs to complex Pinot Noirs, each wine tells a story of the unique terroir it hails from.

Join a wine tour to sample the exceptional vintages of this vibrant region. You’ll uncover distinct flavours born from the sun-kissed soils of the Waimea Plains to the gravel-threaded clay soils of the Upper Moutere.

Nelson wine tours promise an experience that captivates and inspires. 

Uncorking Nelson’s Most Celebrated Wines

Glass of wine overlooking a vineyard
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You’ll be swept off your feet by Nelson’s stunning wine scene. Set off on a unique experience through the region’s most celebrated varietals:

  • Sauvignon Blanc: Prepare to be dazzled by Nelson’s refined take on this classic. With lovely texture, crisp minerality, and vibrant tropical fruit flavours, Nelson’s Sauvignon Blancs are guaranteed to make you swoon.
  • Chardonnay: Indulge in the depth, elegance, and pure, intense fruit of Nelson’s exquisite Chardonnays. These complex beauties will have you savouring every last drop.
  • Pinot Gris: Be charmed by the expressive, refined character of Nelson Pinot Gris. Poised acidity harmonises with rich flavours to create an unforgettable symphony on your palate.
  • Pinot Noir: Surrender to the seductive allure of Nelson Pinot Noir. With expressive aromatics, fine tannins, and complex layers, this wine will surely steal your heart.

Planning Your Getaway to Wine Paradise

While Nelson welcomes wine lovers year-round, the best time to visit is January and February. With 8+ hours of sunshine daily and little rainfall, conditions are ideal for couples, friends and families to enjoy food and wine tours and sightseeing.

If you’re an international visitor planning a self-drive tour, be sure to familiarise yourself with the New Zealand road rules. And always designate a sober driver—you’ll want to preserve your senses for savouring those incredible wines!

A typical vineyard in Nelson as the sun goes down.
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Winery Hopping: Where to Sip and Savour 

Ready to explore Nelson’s standout wineries? Most are conveniently located just 20-30 minutes drive east of Nelson City. Here are a few gems you won’t want to miss:

  • Neudorf Garden: Soak in the picturesque garden setting as you sip a glass of pure heaven. Pair your wine with a delectable cheese plate from their baby deli for the ultimate indulgence.
  • Greenhough Vineyard: Step into the spacious tasting room and meet the passionate team crafting these certified organic wines. Their commitment to sustainability shines through in every sip.
  • Moutere Hills Vineyard: Enjoy tastings of hand-crafted, estate-grown wines alongside mouthwatering food made in-house with local produce. 
  • Riwaka River Estate: Discover the artisan charm of Nelson’s smallest winery and their handcrafted “Resurgence” range. 
  • Seifried Estate Cellar Door: Expand your palate with intriguing varietals like Grüner Veltliner, Würzer, and Zweigelt.

Raise a Glass to Novelty Wine Tours 

For an extra splash of fun, hop on a guided wine tour and let a local Kiwi guide you around the best wineries and most interesting places in the region. Here are some of our favourite Nelson tours:

Two people cycling through a tunnel.
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  • One-Day Moutere Winery and Artisans Bike Tour: Enjoy a fantastic, fun day trip pedalling through scenic vineyards, stopping at charming studios and visiting historical spots.
  • Wine & Art Tour: Dive into the essence of Nelson as you meet talented artists, explore inspiring galleries, and sample world-class wines paired with mouthwatering food.
  • Full-Day Hop-on Hop-off Wine Tour: Enjoy a great day out discovering the best of Nelson, Brightwater, Moutere and Mapua at your own pace. Hop between scenic spots, iconic activities, and food and wine tastings. 

Beyond the Vines: Nelson Attractions

Pic's Peanut Butter World.
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In between sipping and swirling, be sure to check out Nelson’s other delights. Visit Makana Boutique Chocolate Factory to watch the chocolate-making process and Pics Peanut Butter World to learn the secrets behind their delicious spread. Craft beer lovers can check out the local breweries scene for a hoppy change of pace. Plus, you’ll find plenty of fantastic cafes and restaurants to stop by for a spot of lunch. And, of course, no Nelson wine tour is complete without bringing home a few gourmet souvenirs, such as local honey and cheese.  

Check out our blog post for more ideas on things to do in Nelson, New Zealand.

Uncork the Wine Escape of Your Dreams with Pegasus

Book a reliable, affordable rental car with Pegasus, Nelson’s trusted local provider. Our friendly team will make sure you have the perfect vehicle for cruising between wineries.So what are you waiting for? Grab your favourite wine-tasting buddies, start planning your wine tour, and get ready to raise a glass to the magic of Nelson! Let the extraordinary flavours and experiences of this New Zealand gem leave you with cherished memories (and perhaps a few new favourite bottles). We hope to see you in the stunning Nelson wine country soon!