Hawkes Bay wines are renowned for the best Bordeaux style blends to come from New Zealand

Settled on the east coast of the North Island, the Hawkes Bay wine region is internationally recognised for the quality of its diverse wines which are among the finest to come from New Zealand.

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As the country’s second largest wine growing region behind Marlborough, Hawkes Bay wine is highly regarded for its red Bordeaux blends, while Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Chardonnay are also planted extensively in the area. The Hawkes Bay wine region lays claim to being among the oldest in New Zealand – with the first grape vines planted here dating back to 1851 by Marist missionaries whose legacy still lives on in Tarsdale’s Mission Estate winery.

Hawkes Bay wine has since earned a deserved seat at the international table and has become a must-travel destination for enthusiasts tempted by its gloriously sunny climate and a well-established wine route that also showcases the region’s art deco architecture and artisan producers.

The cities of Napier and Hastings were practically destroyed by an earthquake in 1931, giving rise to their reconstruction in the prevailing art deco and Spanish mission styles that provide an idyllic setting for Hawkes Bay wine tasting. Many of New Zealand’s leading wineries such as Church Road and Clearview Estate are located in and around the Hawkes Bay wine region.

At Wine Paths, our local expert can organise exclusive tours of Hawkes Bay wine estates, including elaborate tastings, luxury accommodation, fine dining experiences and some unique activities. All of our private tours can be tailor-made to meet your precise requirements, ensuring every detail is taken care of so that you can relax and enjoy the matter at hand – sampling some of the finest wine in the southern hemisphere while surrounded by incredible natural beauty.

 

The cities of Napier and Hastings were practically destroyed by an earthquake in 1931, giving rise to their reconstruction in the prevailing art deco and Spanish mission styles that provide an idyllic setting for Hawkes Bay wine tasting. Many of New Zealand’s leading wineries such as Church Road and Clearview Estate are located in and around the Hawkes Bay wine region.

The distinctive quality of Hawkes Bay wine is determined by almost ever-present sunshine that is tempered by maritime breezes to promote a lengthy growing season, while the high surrounding mountain ranges provide protection from the wind. The terroir, meanwhile, is product of historic meanderings by four rivers  – creating a kaleidoscope of different soil types that are reflected in the varied styles of wine that come from the region.

In particular, the Gimblett Gravels district comprised of shingle soils is ideally suited to growing the Bordeaux blend varieties and Syrah, making the area the most expensive vineyard real estate in New Zealand Red Bordeaux style blends are among the most revered Hawkes Bay wines, using an increasingly higher proportion of Merlot than Cabernet Sauvignon to create vintages with elegance, longevity and deep, plum flavours.

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Chardonnay is Hawkes Bay’s signature white variety – featuring full bodied wines with excellent fruit intensity and complexity – while oak matured or fermented Sauvignon Blanc is underpinned by bright acidity and rich fruit flavours. Over the last 20 years, Pinot Noir has veered away from its traditional use in sparkling wines towards some exceptional still wines bearing a variety of fruit, floral and spiced aromatics with beautifully soft and supple tannins.

Innovative producers in the Hawkes Bay wine region are continually experimenting with Italian and Spanish varieties, while aromatics such as Viogner, Malbec and Tempranillo are showing great promise. Hawkes Bay is also regarded as the ‘food bowl’ of New Zealand and there are few better ways to taste the local fare than at the Farmers’ Market, which brings together numerous artisan sellers every Sunday.

Contact Wine Paths for more inspirational ideas before planning a visit to the Hawkes Bay wine region.

 

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