Auckland is not typically associated with the New Zealand’s internationally acclaimed wine scene, but regions to the north and south of country’s largest city are scattered with boutique vineyards.
They may not offer the same expansive wilderness as renowned areas such as Marlborough or Hawkes Bay, but since Auckland wine growing regions can be reached within an hour’s drive from the city they have become an increasingly popular pastime for visitors.
At Wine Paths, our local expert can organise exclusive tours across the Auckland wine region, which can include elaborate tastings, luxury accommodation, fine dining experiences and some unique activities. All of our private Auckland wine tours can be tailor made to meet your exact specifications, ensuring every detail is taken care so you can relax and revel in the fine wine Auckland has to offer.
Just a 35-minute ferry ride from the city, the hilly island is renowned for its internationally acclaimed artisan wines as well as being home to a bohemian population and thriving local arts scene. Waiheke Island was ranked the fifth best destination in the world to visit by the Lonely Planet in 2016, while being voted the fourth best island in the world by Conde Nast – and it’s not difficult to understand why.
The Auckland wine region enjoys a revered reputation across the world for its Chardonnay and Bordeaux style blends from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes that are largely produced from four sub-regions: Kumeu is the oldest wine region near the city – approximately 16 miles north-east of the central business district – and boasts boutique vineyards and fruit orchards amid a picturesque countryside setting. The elegant Chardonnay white wines from here are widely regarded among the country’s finest and Kumeu is also home to the head offices of several leading New Zealand wine brands, including Coopers Creek, Nobilo and Babich, although not all of them have vineyards in the region.
Matakana is a small Auckland wine region settled on the east coast of the North Island with a sun kissed climate that accommodates the production of elegant red wines – typically Bordeaux blends, although Syrah, Malbec and Sangiovese are also grown here. Despite producing some of New Zealand’s most expensively priced bottles, Auckland wines from this region are not particularly well known outside of the country – but Matakana’s closeness to the CBD and an abundance of sheltered beaches make it a popular city break destination for well-heeled locals and visitors alike.
To the south the small district of Clevedon remains a work in progress that is beginning to attract international glances, while north of the city lies arguably the most influential Auckland wine region, Waiheke Island. Just a 35-minute ferry ride from the city, the hilly island is renowned for its internationally acclaimed artisan wines as well as being home to a bohemian population and thriving local arts scene. Waiheke Island was ranked the fifth best destination in the world to visit by the Lonely Planet in 2016, while being voted the fourth best island in the world by Conde Nast – and it’s not difficult to understand why.
Wine Paths tours can visit over 20 high-class wineries, many with relaxed restaurants onsite, and sample extraordinary Auckland wines while enjoying stunning views across the surrounding vineyards and Hauraki Gulf. Due to the island’s restricted acreage, wine production takes place on a truly boutique scale – while some wineries even offer wines from other regions, such as Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough. The vineyards hear are often accompanied by olive tree groves and it’s not unusual to find wineries selling their own single estate olive oil alongside wines.
Visitors can also wander along the white sand of stunning beaches such as Oneroa and Onetagi – two of the island’s finest – and swim in crystal clear sheltered waters, while the town is littered with charming galleries, craft boutiques and an inspiring sculpture park.
Contact Wine Paths for more inspirational ideas before planning an Auckland wine tour of Waiheke Island.
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