New Zealand’s maritime climate provides New Zealand vineyards with extended, clear and strong sunshine hours and cool nightly sea breezes. The cooling temperatures provide a long, slow ripening period resulting in flavour growth while still holding a fresh acidity that make New Zealand wine so unique.
Nearly all New Zealand vineyards are located within 125km of the coastline, with the majority of the grapes grown on the East Coast. Latitudes range between 36 to 45 degrees, use different soil types, and a are grown in varied climates, New Zealand wine regions produce a vast range of diverse wine styles.
New Zealand wine is harvested over a six to seven week period. The harvesting of Chardonnay grapes in the northern regions of Northland, Matakana, Auckland, and Waiheke Island begins late February where the temperatures are warmer and more humid. While in Central Otago, Waitaki Valley, and Canterbury, New Zealand’s most southerly wine regions, the Chardonnay grapes are picked mid to late April.
Clean rivers, snow-capped mountains and pristine rivers provide a serene backdrop to many of the vineyards in New Zealand that provide a distinctive quality to our wines. Amongst our picturesque landscapes you’ll discover New Zealand’s world renowned award winning wineries. There are over 700 wineries doted around the country, predominantly on the East Coast.
North Island Wineries & Wine Regions
Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city, with a population of 1.5 million people. Its sub-tropical climate, sheltered harbours, islands, volcanic cones, international airport and big city feel all make it a great place to visit. Auckland is a large and diverse wine region, with around 100 vineyards and wineries. Auckland’s soils are mainly…
The Central North Island encompasses several emerging and developed wine regions, from the Bay of Plenty – Waikato to Taranaki – Manawatu-Wanganui and includes areas like The Waitaki, Kapiti and the Central Plateau around Taupo. The vineyards of the Waikato, Manawatu-Wanganui and Taranaki are small but…
Gisborne is the first wine region in the world to see the new day’s sun. Located on the most easterly point of the north island, Gisborne is a beautiful and charming place. It’s warm and sunny, is very relaxed and thoroughly steeped in Maori culture. Gisborne is New Zealand’s 4th largest grape growing region. It receives a lot of sun.
Hawkes Bay is located on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island south of Gisborne, is New Zealand’s leading wine and food tourism destination. It’s also a region steeped in history. The cities of Napier and Hastings were all but destroyed by an earthquake in 1931, and rebuilt in the prevailing art deco and Spanish mission styles.
Northland wine region is a four hour drive north of Auckland. It is a picturesque and sparsely populated part of the country with tranquil bays, beaches, forests and pastoral farms. It is home to one of New Zealand’s most historic sites, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, surrounded by heritage gardens, spectacular Bay of Islands sea views…
Waiheke Island is a haven for many local and international visitors who are looking for a laid-back escape close to the hustle and bustle of Auckland City. It’s a magical little island, only a short 30 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland, where you will find world-class wineries, art tours, vineyards, wine tours and sandy beaches.
Wairarapa’s close proximity to New Zealand’s capital, Wellington city, makes it a popular weekend destination. The area is characterised by quaint little towns dotted between rolling fields of sheep, olives and grapes – all set against a panoramic mountain backdrop. Over recent years, the region has undergone something of a revolution, with an explosion of boutique wineries, cafes and world class restaurants. While there are few large hotels, there are plenty of comfortable farm stays, bed and breakfasts and boutique hotels.
South Island Wineries & Wine Regions
Canterbury’s heart is the picturesque and very English city of Christchurch. The region is dominated by the vast and empty Canterbury plains, which sweep from the magnificent Southern Alps of New Zealand to the east cost of the South Island. While a relatively new wine region – the first vineyard was planted in 1977 – Canterbury is becoming…
Central Otago is New Zealand’s most scenic wine region. If you only have time to visit one New Zealand wine region make it Central Otago, and allow yourself at least three days to enjoy it. At the centre of the region is Queenstown – New Zealand’s premier tourist destination and voted the world’s friendliest foreign city by readers of Conde Nast Traveller.
Marlborough is at the top of the South Island, and can be easily reached by air or ferry from Wellington. The city of Blenheim is at the region’s heart, and is just a short 20 minute drive from the breath-taking beauty of the Marlborough Sounds. Over the hills and to the south are the Awatere Valley and the seaside town of Kaikoura.
Nelson is a two hour drive from Marlborough, or a short flight from Wellington. It’s a paradise for potters, painters, alternative life-stylers, foodies and wine lovers. Nelson enjoys a lot of sun, has undisturbed golden sand beaches, beautiful scenery, fertile plains and snow-capped mountain ranges – almost everything you could want in a wine region.
Only an hour’s drive north of Christchurch, Waipara wine region is one New Zealand’s fastest growing wine regions with over 75 vineyards in the Waipara Valley covering more than 1,200 hectares of plantings. A sub region of the Canterbury wine region, Waipara is renowned for producing unique richer, spicier Pinot Noirs and Rieslings.
Located on the East Coast of the South Island, between the boundaries of North Otago and Canterbury provinces is New Zealand’s newest wine region, Waitaki Valley. Grape vines were first planted in 2001. The wine region, with most wineries within 20km of the Kurow, has mostly small, intensively managed vineyards producing a range of…