Misha and Andy Wilkinson are the go-ahead couple behind the successful Misha's Vineyard wines from Central Otago in New Zealand.
Until recently the couple preferred to put their energy into export sales rather than opening a cellar door - but the times they are a changing.
Misha’s Vineyard has now opened a Tasting Room in Cromwell - the heart of the Central Otago wine region - in an ideal location overlooking Lake Dunstan.
The Wilkinsons have a spectacular 57-hectare estate on the edge of Lake Dunstan at Bendigo, just 10 minutes from Cromwell, but felt a more centrally located tasting room would be easier for guests to access.
With 20 export markets established and 10 vintages completed, Misha and Andy they decided it was the right time to open a tasting room to showcase their wines.
“We receive calls every day from people visiting from overseas who are familiar with our brand and want to visit,” said Andy. “We are also seeing increased tourism, with Central Otago growing its reputation as a world-class wine and food destination. Cromwell was also recently named the fastest-growing small town in the country, so it’s really exciting to be part of that growth.”
Recent figures from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment showed that the Central Otago region had an 11.6% increase in visitor spending across all markets for the year to January 2017.
According to Tourism New Zealand, 20% of tourists arriving in the country take part in a ‘wine experience’, up from 13% in 2014.
With the wine tourist in mind, the design concept for Misha’s Vineyard Tasting Room was to create a simple yet elegant space that would enable guests to have a relaxed personal tasting experience. A French country inspired theme was chosen and the Wilkinsons also wanted to bring the atmosphere of the vineyard into the tasting room so three walls have large-scale photographic murals showcasing the work of renowned local photographer Tim Hawkins.
The facility includes a private tasting room for members of the newly launched Misha’s Vineyard Vine Club.
Misha’s Vineyard Tasting Room is open every day from 10am-4pm, and also offers platters and small plates for those wanting to relax and enjoy a glass of wine and the views.
“The opening of this new tasting room, signifies a new phase of growth for us,” said Misha Wilkinson. “From the outset, the strategy for Misha’s Vineyard has been to build a premium brand working primarily with top restaurants, five-star hotels and premium wine retailers around the world as well as in New Zealand.
"We’ve won many fans along the way so now we have a place we can host them and thank them for their support, as well as the opportunity of winning some new fans.”
Misha’s Vineyard Tasting Room, 180 State Highway 8B, Cromwell 9310.