Wineries

People have been trying their hand at making wine in New Zealand since the arrival of the first European settlers (the nation’s oldest winemaker, Mission Estate, has been producing wines in Hawke’s Bay since 1851), but the New Zealand wine industry has really taken off in more recent times to take its place on the world stage, and is internationally lauded for producing some seriously top drops. A wide range of landscapes (or terroir) makes for a huge variety in the country’s wines, from Central Otago’s Pinot Noirs to Marlborough’s Sauvignon Blancs and Hawke’s Bay’s Merlots. It’s a great idea to embark on a wine tour or book a personal wine guide to get to experience the very best of the country’s wine scene.

If you’re exploring New Zealand’s vineyards independently, then sampling wines at the cellar door is a great way to spend the day – just make sure you have a sober driver! Self-guided and guided wine tours by bicycle also enjoy huge popularity. Martinborough is a great place to try this fun approach to wine tasting, as numerous vineyards are situated within easy reach of the town square so you don’t have to cycle too far! For the ultimate New Zealand wine experience, you can drive the 380km Classic New Zealand Wine Trail from sun-drenched vineyards in Hawke’s Bay right down to Marlborough in the South Island, taking in 80% of the country’s wine production regions along the way.