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Self guided: Visit the i-site centres in the main wine regions to get more information on where to go and how to get there. Most of these centres will be able to give you maps that pin point the wineries and maybe even have brouchures on them. There are bike hire companies, motor bikes and walking tour pamphlets available.
Choose wineries to go to, a good idea is to remember that most wineries open mid morning and are closed by 4.30pm. Plan your trip to cater for this. Try and get to the last winery at least 15 minutes before they close. It's a bit embarrasing being turned away because your on holiday time and turn up 30 minutes after closing and you still expect to be served.
Eat Breakfast, have lunch planned ( some wineries have restaurants on site ) and drink plenty of water. There's nothing worse than being intoxicated when you were not expecting to!
There are so many fantastic wineries out there making stunning wines... a good idea is to take a note book with you, write down notes about the wines, even if its as basic as "I liked it"
Bring your wallet, wineries are not charities offering free drinks, they are showcasing their wines as a sales tool. Some even charge for a tasting, you should expect better service/more choice/bigger pours for this and the tasting charges are generally never over $10 pp.
Most of the wineries in the main wine regions do not sell thier wines at the supermarket down the road for $10. Dont embarrass yourself by asking if this is possible.
Taste, enjoy, have fun, buy a special wine to enjoy on your holiday....
Go on a wine tour:
Use a good company, research on Tripadvisor... Expect to pay $50 to $100 for the basic half day tours, extra for lunch, fancy vechile, or private tour (just yourselves and a guide). You should not have to part with any more money for tasting charges but remember that Wineries are not charites and you should be prepared to get even better service and the chance to purchase unique wines, that aren't available anywhere else.
Most wineries are coming down hard on drunk visitors, dont bring beers, cask wine or anything else whilst your on tour or if you self guide. Its actually illegal for the winery host to serve tastings to intoxicated people... and they will refuse you service.
Click here to check out wine tours in New Zealand.
Taste, enjoy the experiance, and have fun!