Skyline enters into partnership with Volcanic Hills to make Rotorua a wine destination

Rotorua in New Zealand is preparing to offer a new reason for tourists to visit the lakeside city, the chance to sample wine in the area where it is produced.

A new partnership between Skyline Rotorua and Volcanic Hills wines is expected to attract wine aficionados to the area, which is already home to a range of other tourist destinations. The plan is to create a winery at the base of the Skyline Rotorua site. Once the winery commences operation, it will offer customers an opportunity to see how the wine is made. If they are interested in exploring further, they can embark on a romantic tour to taste the wine, by taking a gondola to a tasting room within the mountaintop complex.

Organisers are confident that offering wine tasting will certainly enhance tourist inflows into the city, which already draws a steady stream of visitors with its picturesque mountains and placid lakes.

If plans proceed as planned, the tasting room in the old gondola terminal will be open to the public in December, though the winery could take longer to complete. Organisers are working towards having the first vintage made on site by March next year.

Skyline Rotorua’s general manager, Bruce Thomasen, said, ‘Rotorua’s heritage of hosting visitors is first-class, while New Zealand is internationally renowned for making good wine, so this venture is complementary to everything we offer. No-where else in New Zealand – and perhaps the world – can you take a gondola to a wine tasting experience with a 180-degree view of our stunning city and lake. The development is also a nice local story. We want people to be proud of what we have to offer in Rotorua and this new partnership combines two of the most iconic experiences in New Zealand – stunning views and great wine in a complete package.’

Werner Naude and Darryl Church of Darryl Church Architecture in Rotorua have designed the winery, and Kathryn Taylor from The Ivory Studio in Auckland has designed the interiors. Volcanic Hills was launched in 2009 and it sells wines to restaurants around the North Island.