Not only do Aucklanders match their wine with beautiful food, they also like to match each glass with stunning scenery so, whether you create your own itinerary or take one of the many tasteful tours on offer, Auckland is a grape place to explore.
Known as the 'island of wine', there’s no other place on the planet like Waiheke. With over 30 wineries and vineyards dotted prettily across the land, this patch of paradise is just a 40-minute ferry ride from the city. From wineries with award winning restaurants, to small cellar doors, you’ll find world-class drops at every stop. And keep your camera close because almost all these fine wines are served up in tranquil countryside locales with sweeping views across the Hauraki Gulf and beyond. Some of the classic establishments include Mudbrick, Tantalus, Cable Bay, Stonyridge and Man o’ War to name just a few and the lesser known but just as worthy, Casita Miro, Obsidian, Peacock Sky, Poderi Crisci and Batch Winery. With so many choices, here you’ll just have to trust your instincts.
Barely an hours drive north of downtown, Matakana’s beautiful beaches and local arts scene have long acted as a magnet for visitors, and today the region’s vineyards are also finding fans. With superb wines available in elegant settings, walk the outdoor sculpture trail at Brick Bay, then indulge in a leisurely lunch overlooking the vines. Also big on sculpture with a vineyard and restaurant is Sculptureum, voted in the Top 50 restaurants by Metro magazine. Other pleasant places to tempt your palate, Ascension, Plume and Matakana Estate are all delightful. Or to taste a variety of varietals in one place, visit The Vintry, Matakana because their cellar door represents most of the area’s vineyards and they have the best selection of local wines to taste, and all under one roof.
Journey west to Auckland’s oldest grape growing region because, when the Dalmatians first settled here, when they couldn’t find wine, they knew they had to make it themselves. To discover some of the best-known names in New Zealand wine, alongside small artisan winemakers, here you’ll be wooed by Coopers Creek, Soljans, Kumeu River and West Brook Winery.
Not to be left out, you can also enjoy a tipple south of the city. From Villa Maria near the airport, find out how they earned the title of New Zealand’s most awarded winery. Puriri Hills in Papakura, John Hill Estate in Hunua and Turanga Creek in Whitford also have fine wines to share and stories to tell.