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About Appellation Wine Tours

Queenstown’s leading premium wine tour company with over 23 years of experience.

Appellation Wine Tours was founded by Philip Green and Wendy Johnston in 1999; two New Zealanders with a passion for Central Otago and its wines, and a desire to share that enthusiasm with others.

Appellation’s mission remains to take people far from Queenstown’s adrenalin attractions to the quieter parts of the region. There we can immerse our guests in the culture of fine wine, gorgeous food and stunning alpine scenery, a side of Queenstown that people often miss on a short visit.

In 2005 the company undertook an extensive brand review and changed the trading name to Appellation Wine Tours, reflecting the development and recognition of the Central Otago wine region and the growing popularity of their Queenstown-based wine tasting tours.

Our greatest acknowledgement of success is being the only wine tasting tour company in New Zealand to have been awarded trophies at the Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism awards. Appellation Wine Tours was the New Zealand Wine Tourism Services winner in 2011 and 2013 and the International winner in 2012. From 2013, New Zealand was no longer included as a region for these awards.

Since then, we have also been recognised as Leading Operator in Wine Tour Services 2019 by Global Business InsightsService Excellence 2018 by Luxury Travel Guide, a Gold Level Qualmark status and have consecutive Certificate of Excellence’s on Trip Advisor creating “Hall of Fame” status.

Multi Award Winning Wine Tours

Don't just take our word for it! Our reviews speak for themselves...
  • “This is truly a terrific wine tour of Central Otago from Queenstown. Lewis the local driver and guide was outstanding. He was very personable and knowledgeable helping the 12 people on the trip to get to know one another. 

    We visited 4 wineries Rockburn, Scott Base, Carrick Winery and Nockie’s Palette which enabled us to compare the differences in the common grape varieties in the region. A platter lunch at Carrick Winery was most enjoyable.” 

    michaeljP3260HB, Nov 2023 (Trip Advisor).
  • “Our favourite experience so far in Queenstown. The wineries were great, we loved Akarua and Mt Rosa. Central Otago Pinot noirs are sooooo good! 

    The group of people we did the wine tasting with were fun and friendly and our tour guide/driver was the best of all. John aka “Dave” was knowledgeable, funny, and honestly seemed like he’d taken some advanced driving lessons- because he drove so well! 

    Loved the stories, learning about Maori history and of course the NZ AU jokes too 😂 Highly recommend this activity! ”  

    Jenny_D, Oct 2023 (Trip Advisor).
  • “Our guide John was very knowledgeable about New Zealand wines. While driving us, he told us about the successes and failures of the people who introduced wine making to New Zealand and specifically spoke about the history of the vineyards we were visiting. 

     Our tour included a short visit to Arrowtown and tastings at a few different vineyards including a visit to Gibbston’s wine cave. Our gourmet lunch at the Stoaker Room was served family style and was accompanied by a flight of wine pairings. The group size was limited to 12 people, which gave us a chance to learns a little about the others on our tour. 

    This was a lovely tour and an enjoyable day. ”. 

    LCL-travels, Nov 2023 (Trip Advisor).
  • “We started with a Jet Boat ride which was exhilarating on a K jet. John our wine tour driver picked us up on time as planned. An ex Canadian in love with Kiwi town. His wine / history/ scenery knowledge 2nd to none. 

    Our wineries were great selection and product was tasty. Favorite winery was Te Kano because of the beautiful comedic delivery of a Chinese Ex Pat ( now full Kiwi) wine professional. Stunning views. Boutique winery. Very tasty drop of 4 wines. Recommend this tour. ”

     Greg_M, Nov 2023 (Trip Advisor).
  • “Amazing day through the rich wine and food country of the Gibbston Valley, Cromwell, Bannockburn and Arrowtown. 

    We did the Gourmet tour as recommended by David and hosted by John. The hosting was fantastic with an engaging narrative from a true Queenstown local and inclusive experience. Loved every minute, drop and bite. Highly recommend this tour experience. ” 

    BrettTCole, Nov 2023 (Trip Advisor).