Restaurant open 9-5pm daily : Cellar Door open 11am-5pm daily : Ph 034421090 or click here for bookings




Akarua Wines

Akarua is a well loved and well known Central Otago winery that has been owned by the Skeggs Family since the original vineyard was planted in Bannockburn back in 1996.

Opening a destination restaurant and Cellar Door near Queenstown has always been an important part of our plan, the realisation of that plan has been bought about by a number of stars all aligning at the same time. The right location and venue and most importantly the right people to deliver outstanding cuisine and service was key to proceeding in this new venture.

Having worked with the team at Artisan and with John and Debbie we knew that they were the right partners to help deliver our vision – incredible wine and food in a setting to match. Simple really. We are all so thrilled to offer locals and visitors a new restaurant to choose from and we look forward to welcoming you soon.

Artisan Catering

After a long time away working all over the world at private villas and on super yachts, husband and wife John and Debbie Pickens arrived in Queenstown in 2010 to set up Artisan Catering. From humble beginnings and with a vision to offer boutique private chef experiences hosting groups consisting of around 10 guests, Artisan has quickly grown to become a significant catering company for both weddings and corporate groups of up to 1000 guests at a time here in the beautiful surrounds of Central Otago.

Having often been asked by guests when they would be taking their food outside the catering world and into the public arena it made perfect sense when Akarua approached them to join forces! They are really excited to be able to finally share their Artisan food with a much wider audience and to pairing it with the award winning wines from Akarua.



John Pickens
Executive Chef
Akarua Wines & Kitchen by Artisan

John returned home 6 years ago after spending nearly a decade working private villas and super yachts around the world. From there he started up Artisan Catering with his wife Debbie after seeing a gap in the market for high end events, private functions & weddings. Recently Akarua approached John and Debbie to come on board, bringing Johns innovative menus & talent into the cottage to create something special for the local market & visitors. John is really looking forward to leading the kitchen team of chefs at the new restaurant & winery!

Debbie Pickens 
Director/General Manager
Akarua Wines & Kitchen by Artisan

Providing a special, unique and high standard of both service and food is something I am really passionate about . I am excited to be part of the team at Akarua Wines & Kitchen by Artisan. My forte is offering that real personal touch, it is my aim that our guests will walk away feeling they have had a wonderful and memorable food and wine experience. The uniqueness of the cottage with its beautiful garden setting and now with a new lease of life, makes it somewhere special for locals and visitors to relax and enjoy!

Kathryn Pettit
General Manager 
Akarua Winery

Some of the most memorable food and wine occasions that I have had has been at wineries. We want people to enjoy our wine and often the best way to do that is to deliver an unforgettable wine and food experience. We know that John our executive chef and his team can certainly deliver on that promise. Having the ability to also offer tastings to guests and purchases of Akarua wine to take away from our unique cellar door facility will add another reason to come and visit!

David Skeggs
Akarua Winery
Akarua Wines & Kitchen by Artisan

We are really excited to finally be able to bring an Akarua destination restaurant and cellar door to the Queenstown area. Walnut Cottage is a much loved piece of Arrowtown history and we are glad that are able to share it with our customers. The menu that has been created served alongside our wines will I am sure be a winning combination.