Well that was a change of environment. Leaving Sydney on a balmy summers morning and arriving in Queenstown to snowploughs on the tarmac at Queenstown airport was a shock to the system to say the least. Slightly under equipped for the Arctic conditions and snow to across the Central Otago skyline I was pleased to see the clouds dissipate only to be confronted with the spectre of frost.
The vineyard crew on the ground in Central have done an incredible job keeping the new vine shoots alive and health through this spring. A couple of major frosts have seen the Frost Fans, Sprinklers and Helicopters running flat out through the wee small hours to ensure not damage. The good news is, to date, things are looking good and finger crossed summer delivers us a promising 2019 harvest ahead.
The Great Bannockburn Hotel
While Queenstown often steals the limelight for the food scene in Central Otago there is some hidden gold in them there hills for those who like to escape the hustle and bustle of QT.
Our new favourite lunch spot is the Bannockburn Hotel in said hamlet. Once the domain of the local Cockies, lost German Backpackers and the odd DoC Officer, the old pub has been given a new lease of life with a great Tapas style menu and arguably the best wine list in Central Otago. While the Salmon Pate and Fish Taco slide down well with a glass of 2010 Felton Road Block 1 Riesling, you can still catch up with the goings-on in the local farming community, practice your German language skills and discuss the pros and cons of 1080 all over a pint of Panhead Supercharger. If you are in Central, book a table for lunch and stay until dinner, the wine list alone is worth the effort. https://www.bannockburnhotel.com/