Day 46: Wine and Chocolate and Cheese Oh My

Gibbston Valley MapOn day 19 I mentioned a bit about the New Zealand wine trail. In Central Otago in the South Island, on highway 6 just outside of Queenstown on the way to Wanaka you’ll see signs for Gibbston Valley Winery

We didn’t know much about the different wineries in the region and actually stopped at Gibbston because the signs advertised cheese! And we love cheese. Gibbston Valley, it turns out, is well known for both. It was somewhat crowded the day we were there but not bad. There’s a cheese shop with a cafe, a gift shop, and then the winery itself that does tastings. We spent some time in the cheese shop sampling the cheeses and then ordered a cheese board and some Riesling and found a table outside. You can’t really beat Riesling and cheese in the sunshine.

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The cheeses were excellent. And the cheese board had a really good selection with cheeses, sundried tomatoes (literally the best I’ve ever had), olives, bread, hummus, quince paste (to die for on the cheese) and tapenade.

After lunch, we stepped in the winery for some more wine. They offer a few tastings but the chocolate and wine tasting sounded the best so we went for that – three different wines paired with three different chocolates. In our case, it was milk chocolate with citrus peel and caramelized nuts, dark chocolate with almonds, and white chocolate with apricot. Paired with a late harvest special white wine, pinot noir and chardonnay. They were all excellent and we purchased the pinot afterward.

If you’re in the Queenstown area, I highly recommend it. I notice they also do winery tours and tours into the cave where the barrels are stored but we weren’t able to do that during our visit.


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