Introducing the Cromwell Basin wine tasting tour bringing you an exceptional experience that begins with the inviting aroma of leather as the passenger doors of our classic 1988 300SE Mercedes are opened for you and up to three of your travel companions to relax into its class leading luxury and the smooth driving of your host, Bob Hewitt.


After the 15-20min drive from Cromwell through a steep-sided gorge carved over millennia by the Clutha/Mata-Au River, the sight of New Zealand’s largest concrete hydroelectric dam shows you are about to enter the Alexandra Basin.

Here in the 1860s, Frenchman Jean Feraud used a large portion of his gold mining earnings to establish Monte Christo, Central Otago’s first vineyard. Unfortunately, as a business venture, his ambitions were thwarted by the county’s taste for beer and spirits. But tastes change, and in the 1980’s the Alexandra Basin was the scene of a new wave of planting. Still on its original site, Monte Christo produces high quality wines worth tasting.

The Alexandra Basin may look and feel quite similar to the Cromwell Basin, but it has nuances of difference reflected in its wines. It regularly records New Zealand’s hottest and lowest temperatures, with soils derived from alluvial material that further put vines through stresses necessary to produce superior quality grapes.

Pinot Noir together with cool-climate varieties of Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and Riesling are produced on some 35 Alexandra Basin vineyards, many of these small and boutique.