We embarked on our wine adventure with Wanaka Wine Tours to visit 6 vineyards in the Central Otago Valley. I would highly recommend this tour company based on level of service, quality of vineyards they took us to, and the snazzy luxury van that transported us. In addition to the wine tour, our guide was also very knowledgeable of Wanaka’s history and suggested some really good local haunts.
Aitken’s Folly Vineyard was one of our favorites among the 13 vineyards we tried in Australia and New Zealand. It is a boutique vineyard that is family-run and their wines are starting to get some real traction in a competitive New Zealand market. I didn’t know what to expect as we pulled up the gravel road and saw 2 dogs running alongside our van to welcome us. As we departed the van and petted the pups, the owner of Aitken’s Folly (Ian Percy) came bounding out the house barefoot to meet us.
Ian and his wife are former geologists from the UK and moved to Wanaka to start their dream of a winery. While telling us the history of the vineyard, Ian poured his wine and it was easy to see how much pride he had in the product he was serving. Ian was charming, honest, and a great storyteller. This was the most unique wine tasting I’ve ever experienced because we got to interact with the creator of these great wines and he treated us like old friends just catching up and sitting in his living room.
The ‘wine tasting room’ was just an extension of the Percy household. In fact, in order to to get us a couple clean glasses, Ian had to open the side door of the tasting room which literally led to their family’s living room. The whole experience felt really personal and somehow the wine just tasted better as Ian would tell the story behind it. Funny how that happens. I highly recommend Aitken’s Folly because of the quality of the wine and the personal touch you receive when taking the tour.
2016 Pinot Rose – Fruity and refreshing. Smells like raspberries and fresh cut watermelon. “Rose All Day”!
2012 Riverbank Road Pinot Noir – This region is known for their Pinot Noirs. This Pinot Noir smells and tastes like bright red cherries. Very light weight and the delightful taste stays on your palate.
Interested in learning more about the city? Wanaka, New Zealand: Sleeper Pick When Visiting NZ!
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