Frenchmans Hill Estate

Frenchmans Hill Estate is situated on sheltered northern slopes above the sparkling tidal waters of the Putiki Estuary at the western head of the Onetangi Valley.

The central location is close to the Waiheke Golf Club, Onetangi sports park and tennis courts, the local supermarket and shops as well as most of Waiheke’s stunning beaches and native reserves.

The estuary immediately below the property is teaming with all sorts of wonderful native bird and fish life and offers visitors a completely relaxing focal point as well as being somewhere to flit away a couple of hours meandering around this stunning piece of Waiheke coastline or simply sitting amongst the wetland wildlife sipping a sumptuous artisan wine.

The property comprises 12 acres of north facing sloped vineyard, olive groves and wetlands. Owners Luc and Anna Desbonnets have gained a reputation over recent years for their exquisite range of exclusive Frenchmans Hill Estate wines as well as their delicious Frenchmans Hill Estate olive oil. Interior designer Anna has created a collection of handcrafted gifts, cards and selected homeware which are available for purchase and also feature on the walls of the Guest House.

The Winemaker

Luc Desbonnets began his winemaking career in 1989 in the vineyards of Chinon, France. He spent 7 years working and studying throughout Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Rhone Valley and several other less known French wine appellations before graduating with a superior technician diploma from a Bordeaux Agricultural School in the Medoc appellation in 1993. He went on to work as a flying winemaker in France, Hungary, Moldova, Australia and New Zealand, returning permanently to New Zealand for the 1998 vintage.

After two years winemaking in the Wairarapa Valley, Luc moved to Waiheke Island in 2000 where he was instrumental in designing and building over 100 acres of small parcel, high density, steep sloping vineyards for private land owners and winemakers. His consultation for several budding iconic brands has placed them amongst New Zealand’s most revered still table wines.

In 2005 Luc acquired “the perfect red wine site…” now known as Frenchmans Hill Estate. In 2006 he planted his vineyard upon it’s steep northern, sheltered slopes, “The 8 Vineyard”, a careful selection of 8 red grape varieties with the vision of two wines, a Syrah and a unique blended red.

The Tasting Room

Frenchman Hill Estate wines are produced by renowned Waiheke winemaker Luc Desbonnets. Kiwi/ Frenchman Luc, has been responsible for the production of many of Waiheke’s most sought after still wines over the past 14 years. The Frenchmans Hill Estate wines come from two distinct vineyards designed and planted by Luc in 2006. Frenchmans Hill Estate “The 8 Vineyard” and Te Rere Cove Vineyard at the western end of Waiheke and home to the winery. These wines represent this artisan’s award winning expression of the select coastal sites on which they are grown.

For those interested in ultra premium, expressive and unique wines, then a visit to the Frenchmans Tasting House is a must. Enjoy a glass of wine in the beautiful tasting garden overlooking shimmering olive trees, immaculate vineyards and out over the stunning Okahuiti Creek estuary below. You may end up staying to enjoy a bottle of wine accompanied by a delicious homemade “Plat Du Jour” prepared by Anna.

Frenchmans Hill Estate wines have been rated amongst New Zealand’s very best wines by world renowned critic Robert Parker Junior’s Wine Advocate publication.

The Frenchmans Hill Estate extra virgin olive oil grown on the estate’s 208 mature 10 to 25 year old trees is also available for tasting and purchase … those doing the olive oil circuit rate it right up with the very best oils from Waiheke Island…simply devine!

Luxurious Apartment Accommodation

Frenchmans Hill Estate is located on Waiheke Island, a luxurious 35-minute ferry cruise from downtown Auckland, New Zealand. Waiheke Island is famous for its beautiful white-sand beaches, and is renowned for producing great red wines and olive oil due to its low summer rainfall and high temperatures.

  • Two bedroom luxurious apartment (1 - 4 guests)
  • 1 large bedroom with 1 x king bed
  • 1 x large bedroom with twin king single beds OR 1 x super king bed
  • 1 x fold out bed available for (3rd child)
  • 1 x living area with kitchen
  • 1 x bathroom
  • 1 x toilet
  • Internet
  • TV’s / DVD's
  • Continental breakfast including tea and coffee
  • Complimentary wine tasting at our vineyard shop and garden bar
  • Golf clubs
  • Tennis rackets and balls
  • 2 x kayaks and safety vests
  • Yes, hair dryers, ironing board and an iron are included as well as a shoe shine kit !

1 Margaret Reeve Lane
Waiheke Island

P: +64 9 372 3387