One hour north of Otahuna Lodge lies the Waipara wine district, New Zealand’s hottest wine region and home to some excellent boutique vineyards. Waipara translates from the Maori language as "muddy water" due to the braided rivers that carry glacial silt from the mountains to the sea.
Waipara vineyards are perhaps best known for excellent Pinot Noirs—often sought after for their rich notes of licorice caused by the high amount of limestone in the soil. Zingy Rieslings are also popular in Waipara, with many winning national awards.
Cellar doors are open for tasting at Muddy Water, Waipara Springs, Torlesse, Black Estate and a range of others including Pegasus Bay which also boasts one of New Zealand’s finest winery restaurants. Visits to other boutique vineyards such as Pyramid Valley and Bell Hill are available by advance arrangement.