CROMWELL, Central Otago, New Zealand, 21 March 2017
The ideal location, overlooking Lake Dunstan on the main approach to Cromwell, is already proving a busy destination for wine lovers.
Vineyard owners Andy and Misha Wilkinson have a spectacular 57-hectare estate on the edge of Lake Dunstan at Bendigo, just ten minutes from Cromwell, but felt a more centrally located tasting room would be easier for guests to access. With 20 export markets established and 10 vintages completed, Misha and Andy decided it was the right time to open a Tasting Room to showcase their wines. “We receive calls every day from people visiting from overseas who are familiar with our brand and want to visit” said Andy. “We are also seeing increased tourism, with Central Otago growing its reputation as a world-class wine and food destination. Cromwell was also recently named the fastest-growing small town in the country, so it’s really exciting to be part of that growth.”
Recent figures from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), showed that the Central Otago region had an 11.6% increase in visitor spending across all markets for the year to January 2017. According to Tourism New Zealand, 20% of tourists arriving in the country take part in a ‘wine experience’, up from 13% in 2014. It’s estimated that 2.9 million people visit Queenstown which is a 45-minute drive from Cromwell. Destination Queenstown’s latest Visitor Experience Survey shows that ‘wine’ or ‘visiting wineries’ is one of the reasons why both domestic and international visitors chose Queenstown as a holiday destination.
With the wine tourist in mind, the design concept for Misha’s Vineyard Tasting Room was to create a simple yet elegant space that would enable guests to have a relaxed personal tasting experience. A French country inspired theme was chosen as the perfect backdrop for the pale blue and gold of the Misha’s Vineyard brand with the interiors and furniture being custom-built. The Wilkinsons also wanted to bring the atmosphere of the vineyard into the tasting room so three walls have large-scale photographic murals showcasing the work of renowned local photographer Tim Hawkins, who has been photographing Misha’s Vineyard since the ground-breaking ceremony in 2004. Local artist Kerry Lanauze has also created a couple of special art pieces that have become talking points for guests. The facility includes a private tasting room for members of the newly launched Misha’s Vineyard Vine Club.
With a range of single-vineyard Pinot Noir and aromatic white wines including Pinot Gris, Riesling, Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, as well as a late harvest dessert wine, Misha’s Vineyard offers guests a wide range of wines to sample. Misha’s Vineyard Tasting Room is open every day from 10am to 4pm, and also offers platters and small plates for those wanting to relax and enjoy a glass of wine and the views.
“The opening of this new tasting room, signifies a new phase of growth for us” said Misha Wilkinson. “From the outset, the strategy for Misha’s Vineyard has been to build a premium brand working primarily with top restaurants, five-star hotels and premium wine retailers around the world as well as in New Zealand. We’ve won many fans along the way so now we have a place we can host them and thank them for their support, as well as the opportunity of winning some new fans.”
Misha’s Vineyard Tasting Room
Location: 180 State Highway 8B, Cromwell 9310 (Freeway Orchard complex)
Hours: 10am – 4pm daily
Food: Platters and small plates available