Central Otago is a state of mind—at least that’s what locals say. New Zealand’s most southerly wine region—anchored by the town of Queenstown, 
a hub for adventure travelers—is also the country’s most beautiful. Imagine crystal-clear lakes, surging rivers, wild forests and jagged, snow-capped peaks. Is 
it any wonder visitors interrupt their tastings to bungee jump off bridges and hike precipitous trails? Back in the ’70s, experts claimed it was too cold and wild to make wine here, but a band of pioneering winemakers ignored their advice and planted vines—to spectacular success. And keep in mind, winter in the US means summer there, making this the perfect time to go. —Andrea Frost

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