The Cardrona Distillery.
By The Denizen
One of the best out-of-town excursions, a visit to the distillery is a tantalisingly educational experience.
The Cardrona Distillery
2125 Cardrona Valley Road
(03) 443 1393
Though internationally renowned for its pinot noir, Otago also harbours an illustrious offering of a slightly stronger persuasion. Handcrafting artisan spirits using traditional methods, exceptional ingredients and globally-sourced equipment, The Cardrona Distillery, lying in the mountain valley between Queenstown and Wanaka, is an unmissable Southern experience.
Already boasting a celebrated range of gin, vodka and liqueurs, the inaugural whisky has been barrelled too, set for release in November 2025. With tours, tastings, a quaint cocktail bar and refined blackboard menu — its shortbread is so delicious it has been known to draw patrons from across the country — true zealots of fine spirits even have the opportunity to apply for one of the distillery’s limited Private Casks on their visit. A tradition-steeped offering, in which a barrel of single malt is prepared according to their tastes then left to mature for a minimum of 10 years, the payoff, we can only assume, is tremendous.