We love this feature recently published in Canterbury Today! Just in time for Spring and enjoying wine in the Central Otago sunshine...
Nestled amongst the Southern Alps, Cromwell tends to be overlooked by many holidaymakers in favour of its bigger, shinier neighbours – Queenstown and Wanaka. But what many travellers with an eye for authenticity have carefully discovered, is the rich tapestry of local epicurean experiences on offer in this remote part of the South Island
A Local Kiwi Company To Take You Beyond The Extraordinary
Local, family owned, boutique helicopter operator Heliview Flights have made it their mission to show visitors the best of Central Otago’s wine and food scene – both on the ground and from above. Their experiences focus on you first and foremost and based on what visitors love the most, they launched the ultimate day of exploration – their Heli-Jeep-Wine tour.
Guests flying with Heliview Flights soar beyond what most Kiwis can imagine, with the vineyards lining the Cromwell basin as their backdrop. An alpine landing offers even more marvellous views of the local area and on a good day even Mount Cook. After seeing the plethora of different vineyards, cherry orchards and lake from above, guests arrive, ready for their first taste of southern hospitality.
Heli Wine Tour Adventure – Life Is About The Journey
Landing on the lawn at the Cloudy Bay Tasting Shed is an experience not to be missed – aside from feeling like an absolute rock star there is no better way to get a true understanding of the surrounding landscape and sheer scale of the Central Otago wine region.
As the team take you through the wine making process, from planting the vines and nurturing the grapes, through to optimal harvesting and of course the delicious result! After tasting some of the regions finest food and wine, guests are escorted by Jeep on to the next chapter of the adventure.
Central Otago being the hottest wine-growing region in the South Island means the open top comes into its own. Visiting the small, authentic wineries, run by dedicated expert teams is the highlight for many. Guests will meet the maker and be taken on a taste experience like no other.
Wine Tasting At Altitude
If you’re a wine connoisseur and want a truly unique and tailored experience, the Wine Tasting at Altitude is not to be missed. Sip on a glass of Mount Michael Wine and dip into their exclusive local fare, on the top of Mount Michael itself, guided by a senior member of the vineyard team.
From their sipping station, guests will take in a 360 degree view of the Gibbston Valley, Bannockburn, Lowburn, across the lake to Bendigo and down to Wanaka. From the landing point guests are within a couple of hundred metres of the 45th Parallel – the mysterious line which circles the globe and marks the theoretical halfway point between the equator and the South Pole. Mirrored in the northern hemisphere by southern France and northern Italy – this area hosts the perfect conditions for growing pinot noir grapes.
Heli-Dine Experience – Arrive In Style
The most affordable of Heliview Flights’ flying and wine options is their Heli-Dine Experience which can be scaled especially for you. Fly to one of the local wineries to enjoy a two course lunch or take a visit to The Stoaker Room where you will taste their aptly named Banquet Platter and a flight of 5 world-class Wild Earth Wines - followed by something sweet, all specially crafted in their unique wine barrel cookers.
“With Kiwis unable to travel at the moment, we’re getting a lot of demand for flights for special birthdays, anniversaries and (our favourite) – engagements! It’s so good to be able to inspire awe in Kiwis, who would usually be flying around the world, with delicious wine and beautiful local food, right here in their own back yard!” says Jolanda, owner and operations manager.
Get in touch with the team behind the (mountain) scenes
It’s easy to get in touch with Heliview Flights – being a family run company either Pilot Richard or his wife Jolanda (the real boss) will answer the phone and be able to help you. Check them out on instagram @heliviewflights, give them a call on 0800 435 426 or check out the website: www.heliview.co.nz