The largest city on the South Island, Christchurch is located just south of the Canterbury wine region and is a great place to base oneself a few days to explore the area and enjoy a few day trips. While grapes have been planted in the area since the 1800s it wasn't until somewhat recently that commercial production began- mostly centered on Burgundian varietals.
The Waipara region is about an hour's drive north of Christchurch CBD. Wind protection from the West is accomplished by a wall of the Southern Alps and the area is also snuggled between hills that separate it from the coast to the East. Cellar door sales and roadside wineries in this area make a nice day away from town.
In recent years the "Garden City" of Christchurch has had its own issues with Earthquakes (2011, 2016). However, since that time, as the city has repaired itself, artists and young chefs searching to cut their teeth in the business have entered the market. Day trips and activities in the city include the gondolla, golf, museums. shopping, guided history tours of town, and trips to the coast.