Wooing Tree Vineyard is technically in Cromwell, New Zealand (about 30 min from Queenstown and 45 min from Wanaka). The vineyard gets its name from a singular, sizable tree that towers over the rows of vines nicknamed ‘The Wooing Tree‘. Locals had long brought their lovers to this tree to woo them and it was rumored that half the town was conceived under its massive branches. The current owners of the vineyard bought the land while living in another country and their intent was to level all the trees on the property. However, there was a public outcry from the locals to save the tree because of the nostalgic history that surrounded it. It was an obvious choice for them to keep the wistful tree and now it is the cornerstone of their brand. Read the famous Wooing Tree poem.
The story behind the vineyard makes it unique but the wine stands on its own as well. They have won countless medals in international competition all over the world. The grapes were originally planted in 2002 (mostly of the Pinot Noir variety) and they released their first vintage in 2005. They haven’t looked back since!
The tasting room is clean and cozy with spectacular vista views of the surrounding Central Otago valley landscape. They have an outdoor seating area which is complete with picnic tables nestled around a manicured lawn. One of my favorite parts of this vineyard, besides the story behind the Wooing Tree and the wine, was a wine barrel that they made into a place to park your bike (pictured below). Great atmosphere with inventive wines embracing local culture and history incorporated into every bottle.
Beetle Juice 2015: Pinot Noir that is named after the local indigenous (and endangered) Cromwell Chafer Beetle. This is the only place in the world where you can find this type of beetle. The wine itself smells like dark cherries and plumbs and finishes smooth on the palate. Will get better with age.
Blondie 2016: Blanc de Noir. I’ve never had a wine like this. It is light champagne color made from Pinor Noir grapes. On the nose, it is pears and peaches and tastes like sweet grapefruit. It finishes light and airy. Tastes best when chilled.
Tickled Pink 2015: Classic Rose. Light pink in color. Smells like fresh cut strawberries and has an upfront yet balanced flow. Floral and refreshing.
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