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Hawke’s Bay is the second largest region, located on the east coast of the North Island.
New Zealand’s premiere food and wine destination is known for chardonnays, cabernet sauvignons, syrahs, and merlots. Situated by a small lake with the towering heights of Te Mata Peak beyond, this vineyard has a stunning backdrop for wine making and tasting.
Building on the success of her late husband and now employing a top-notch winemaker, her wines are impressive; the (Maori for bubbles) are also big sellers; mirumiru is a sparkling blend of pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot meunier grapes.
There’s also an on-site café, an artist-inresidence and an interesting walk-through sculpture and native garden.
There are two tours a day, and it’s a good place to stop on the way to the airport on your last day.
Villa Maria can arrange shipping if you decide after tasting to buy. This producer of high-quality wine using grapes sourced from around New Zealand is open daily, but Saturday is best because there is a farmers’ market.
Facilities vary from grandiose buildings to rustic barns.
Most larger wineries are open daily, all year round, while boutique vintners may close from Easter until Labour Weekend (end of October).
The tasting room offers selections from most of the company’s vineyards.Pick up a guide at a visitors center or local wine shop.The largest, most well-known region is Marlborough, on the top of the South Island, which produces nearly half of the national crop.You can enjoy an elegant bistro lunch in the tasting room, or, if you’ve made reservations, you can have a full meal at the adjoining restaurant—widely considered one of the best in the country. This magnificent place sits high on the Brookby Ridge, with spectacular views over the Wairau plains all the way to the North Island.The winery building is signposted by an iconic Tuscan-inspired tower that visitors are welcome to climb.