44°42'0.00" S


169°09'0.00" E




about this subregion

Nestled within the breathtaking landscapes of New Zealand's South Island, the Wanaka wine region is a hidden gem that seamlessly marries natural beauty with viticultural excellence. Situated near the shimmering Lake Wanaka and surrounded by rugged mountains, this pristine environment provides a stunning backdrop for vineyards that thrive in this unique microclimate.

Wanaka's grape-growing prowess is evident in its diverse range of grape varieties. Pinot Noir, a shining star in New Zealand's winemaking scene, takes center stage, showcasing the region's ability to craft elegant and expressive red wines. Riesling and Gewurztraminer add a touch of aromatic sophistication, while Sauvignon Blanc brings zesty vibrancy to the lineup. Gamay, with its fruity charm, and Chardonnay, known for its versatility, complete the ensemble.

The region's terroir, characterized by glacial soils and a continental climate, plays a pivotal role in shaping these wines. Cool nights and sunny days allow the grapes to ripen slowly, preserving their unique character. The pristine environment of Wanaka, with its stunning vistas and serene ambiance, beckons wine enthusiasts to savor the flavors of this remarkable wine region while enjoying the natural splendor that surrounds it.


vinerra illustration

Vineyard Hectares





Discover Terroir

Nestled within New Zealand's renowned Central Otago wine region, Wanaka is a captivating destination graced by a landscape of extraordinary beauty. Situated on the South Island, this charming town is framed by the dramatic Southern Alps, a magnificent backdrop that adds grandeur to the scenery.

Wanaka's defining feature is the pristine Lake Wanaka, whose crystal-clear waters mirror the surrounding mountains, creating stunning vistas that never cease to amaze. Rolling hills and picturesque vineyards dot the landscape, basking in the crisp alpine air and ample sunshine.

The Southern Alps, with their snow-capped peaks, stand as sentinels to the west, casting a protective shadow over Wanaka's vineyards. To the east, the Pisa Range adds further character to the landscape, with its rugged terrain and terraced vineyards.

As a part of the Central Otago wine region, Wanaka's terroir is defined by its alpine environment and glacial soils, factors that contribute to the distinctive character of its wines. This breathtakingly beautiful landscape provides both a visual feast and the perfect conditions for cultivating exceptional grapes, making Wanaka an enchanting destination for wine enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

The climate of Wanaka, nestled within New Zealand's Central Otago wine region, is a tapestry of seasonal contrasts that weave together to create a unique and compelling terroir. Situated in the southern reaches of the Southern Hemisphere, this picturesque region experiences a climate that is both challenging and exhilarating for viticulture.

Wanaka's defining feature is its continental climate, characterized by dramatic temperature fluctuations between day and night. Summers are sun-soaked and warm, with the sun's radiant embrace ripening grapes to perfection during the long daylight hours. The days often unfold under clear blue skies, making it an ideal environment for grape cultivation.

However, as the sun sets on those warm summer days, Wanaka reveals another side of its climate. Nights turn cool, sometimes even cold, as the alpine surroundings allow temperatures to plummet. These diurnal temperature variations are critical for preserving the acidity and flavor integrity of the grapes.

Winters in Wanaka are characterized by crisp, frosty mornings. The region's proximity to the Southern Alps means that cold air can pool in the valley, posing a challenge for vineyard managers. Yet, this seasonal dance with frost is also a key component of Wanaka's climate. It helps regulate vine growth and encourages the vines to enter a dormant phase, ensuring they awaken refreshed in the spring.

Overall, Wanaka's climate is a delicate balance of warmth and chill, of sun and frost. It is the canvas upon which the region's winemakers craft their wines, a testament to their skill in harnessing nature's extremes to produce wines of depth, character, and elegance. The climate of Wanaka is the hidden hand that guides the region's grapes toward their full potential, resulting in wines that capture the essence of Central Otago's terroir.

Nestled within New Zealand's Central Otago wine region, Wanaka boasts a rich tapestry of soils that are as diverse as they are essential to the art of winemaking. These unique soil types serve as the foundation upon which the region's vineyards flourish, imparting their distinct characteristics to the grapes and ultimately to the wines produced.

  1. Glacial Moraines: Wanaka's glacial moraine soils tell a story of the region's icy past. Composed of a mix of rock fragments, silt, and clay, these soils are exceptionally well-draining. Their history and texture contribute to wines with striking minerality and complexity.
  2. Alluvial Fans: Found in the lower terraces near the Clutha River, alluvial fan soils consist of a blend of gravels and fine silts. These well-draining soils are often planted with Pinot Noir vines, yielding wines known for their elegance and finesse.
  3. Loess: Loess soils are wind-deposited, fine-grained silts that blanket certain parts of Wanaka's landscape. They possess excellent water-holding capacity and provide a unique microclimate for vineyards. These soils tend to produce wines with intense flavors and a sense of place.
  4. Sandy Loam: Sandy loam soils are prized for their exceptional drainage and warmth-retaining properties. They are often found near Lake Wanaka, contributing to wines with a balanced profile and a touch of minerality.
  5. Gravels: Wanaka's gravel soils, a mix of larger rocks and stones, are renowned for their drainage and heat absorption capabilities. These soils offer ideal conditions for growing varieties like Pinot Noir, enhancing the grapes' flavor concentration and structure.
  6. Clay-Based Soils: Certain areas in Wanaka feature clay-based soils that retain moisture more effectively. This characteristic can be advantageous in managing the vines' water needs and can contribute to wines with depth and finesse.

These diverse soils are the essence of Wanaka's terroir, imparting a unique signature to the grapes grown in this remarkable region. Winemakers in Wanaka leverage this diversity to craft wines that capture the essence of the land and the nuances of the soil, resulting in a compelling array of flavors and styles that define Central Otago's viticultural excellence.


The Wanaka wine region in Central Otago, New Zealand, is renowned for its cultivation of several grape varieties, each with its own unique physical characteristics. These grapes, cultivated in the region's diverse landscape, vary in color, size, and shape, reflecting the distinctiveness of each variety.

  1. Pinot Noir: This grape variety thrives in cooler climates, like those found in Wanaka, where the temperature variations between day and night help develop complexity in the grapes. Pinot Noir prefers well-drained soils and is known for its thin skin, making it somewhat sensitive to various vineyard diseases. Its delicate nature requires careful canopy management to ensure adequate sunlight and air circulation.
  2. Riesling: Riesling is adaptable to a range of climatic conditions but performs exceptionally well in cooler areas such as Wanaka. It prefers well-drained, sloped sites for optimal sun exposure. This grape is quite hardy, withstanding winter cold better than many other varieties. It has a long ripening period, which allows it to develop its unique characteristics fully.
  3. Gewurztraminer: Gewurztraminer grapes flourish in cooler climates, with Wanaka's temperature range being ideal for this variety. It requires deep, fertile soils and benefits from careful vineyard practices to manage its vigorous growth. This grape is known for its larger berries and pink to red skin, and it ripens early, making it less susceptible to late-season climate variations.
  4. Sauvignon Blanc: This variety favors cooler climates, making Wanaka an appropriate region for its cultivation. Sauvignon Blanc benefits from well-drained soils, preferably with a significant amount of sunshine. It is a relatively early ripening variety, which can be advantageous in regions with shorter growing seasons.
  5. Gamay: Gamay grapes are suited to the cooler climate of Wanaka. They prefer well-drained soils and are relatively easy to cultivate, with a tendency to produce high yields if not carefully managed. Gamay vines are vigorous and can adapt to a variety of soil types, although they thrive best in granite-based soils.
  6. Chardonnay: Chardonnay is a versatile grape that adapts well to Wanaka's climatic conditions. It prefers well-drained, fertile soils and benefits from moderate climates where it can develop its flavors without over-ripening. Chardonnay is a relatively hardy variety, able to withstand a range of temperatures, and it ripens mid-season, making it less susceptible to early frosts.

Each of these grape varieties contributes significantly to the diversity and richness of the Wanaka wine region, with their agricultural and climatic requirements shaping the viticultural practices and the distinctiveness of the wines produced in this unique area.

In the picturesque Wanaka wine region, a diverse tapestry of wines unfolds, each varietal telling its own unique story. These wines, characterized by their distinctive body and visual aspects, offer a captivating journey through Wanaka's winemaking landscape.

  1. Pinot Noir: Wanaka's Pinot Noir is a graceful performer, known for its medium to full body and an enchanting ruby hue. On the palate, expect a symphony of red fruit aromas and flavors, often accompanied by hints of earthiness and subtle spice.
  2. Riesling: Wanaka's Riesling showcases a pale and glistening appearance. It entices with fragrant aromas of delicate white flowers and citrus blossoms, while the palate reveals a refreshing burst of zesty citrus fruits and hints of minerality.
  3. Gewurztraminer: Gewurztraminer from Wanaka stands out with its pale gold color. Aromas are a heady mix of lychee, rose petals, and exotic spices. The flavor profile dances with lychee, tropical fruits, and a touch of ginger, offering a sensorial adventure.
  4. Sauvignon Blanc: Wanaka's Sauvignon Blanc greets the eye with its vibrant, pale straw color. The nose is a bouquet of tropical fruits and fresh-cut grass. On the palate, lively citrus and green herb flavors intertwine, creating a crisp and invigorating wine.
  5. Chardonnay: Wanaka's Chardonnay displays a golden hue and offers enticing aromas of ripe orchard fruits, vanilla, and toasted oak. The palate is a harmonious blend of creamy textures and flavors of baked apple, citrus, and a subtle hint of oak.
  6. Gamay: Gamay, with its bright and inviting red color, presents a lively bouquet of red berries and florals. On the palate, it delivers flavors of red cherries, raspberries, and a touch of spice, making it a delightful and approachable wine.

These wines from Wanaka, with their unique aromatic and flavor profiles, paint a vivid picture of the region's terroir and winemaking expertise. Each bottle offers a distinct journey for wine enthusiasts to savor and appreciate the diversity of this picturesque wine region.