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Volcanic Hills’ Sean Beer (left) and Brent Park (middle) toast the new partnership with Skyline Rotorua’s General Manager, Bruce Thomasen at the top of Rotorua’s iconic attraction.

Volcanic Hills’ Sean Beer (left) and Brent Park (middle) toast the new partnership with Skyline Rotorua’s General Manager, Bruce Thomasen at the top of Rotorua’s iconic attraction.

A unique wine experience with spectacular views in Rotorua will soon be enjoyed by visitors.

A Volcanic Hills winery is being established at Skyline Rotorua, where visitors will be able to experience how the wine is made before taking a gondola to a tasting room within the popular tourism attraction’s mountain-top complex. Visitors will be able to take in all Volcanic Hills has to offer while enjoying panoramic views across the district, including Lake Rotorua and the city’s geothermal features.

Visitors will then have the option of enjoying a meal in the Skyline restaurant, close to the top of Mt Ngongotaha, where meals are matched to the appropriate Volcanic Hills wines. Like the tasting room, the restaurant offers full views across Rotorua.

Bruce Thomasen, Skyline Rotorua general manager, says the partnership with Volcanic Hills will not only add to what Skyline has to offer, but will also fill a gap in the local tourism market.

“Rotorua is already world-famous for its well established tourism attractions, geothermal features, Maori culture experiences and adventure tourism, but the region will also now have a genuine

winery tasting experience to offer.”

“It’s complementary to everything the district already offers,” Mr Thomasen shares.

“Rotorua’s heritage of hosting visitors is first-class, while New Zealand is internationally renowned for making good wine. We have simply combined the two to create a very unique offering. 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.”

Volcanic Hills business partners Brent Park and Sean Beer have been looking for a home for their brand since launching their label in 2009, selling directly to restaurants around the North Island. For Mr Park, who is originally from Rotorua, the partnership with Skyline Rotorua is a home-coming of sorts.

“For us this is about taking the wine to the people and telling our story,” he says.

Mr Thomasen expects the new wine experience will be great for both domestic and overseas tourists and says it will be ideally suited to group tours.

“This new partnership combines two of the most iconic experiences in New Zealand – stunning views and great wine – in one, complete package.”

“It’s going to be a real asset to Rotorua, something that could bring more conferences to the city and should appeal to the corporate sector. It will be a top class wining and dining experience.”

The tasting room – in the old gondola terminal – is expected to open to the public by December 2012, with the winery taking slightly longer to complete. The first vintage is aiming to be made on site in March 2013.

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