The Classic New Zealand wine trail spans three of the country’s most renowned wine growing regions, a capital city, scenic coastlines and picturesque rural towns for a once in a lifetime experience.
Arguably the most traveled New Zealand wine trail, the classic route takes visitors through the finest wine regions in the North and South Islands, accompanied by some of the most spectacular scenery on earth – or even Middle Earth, since the country was used as the backdrop for the Lord of the Rings films.
The NZ wine trail passes more than 120 cellar doors where elaborate wine tastings can be enjoyed accompanied by delicious local cuisine in vineyard restaurants.
At Wine Paths, our local expert can organise exclusive tours of the classic New Zealand wine trail that includes private vineyard visits, meetings with the wine growers, exquisite tastings, luxury stays and unique experiences.
Our tours can be tailor-made to meet your exact requirements, ensuring every detail is taken care of to allow you to relax and enjoy the matter at hand – sampling some of the world’s finest wines amid nature’s most glorious landscapes. The regions covered on the classic New Zealand wine trail are:
Hawke’s Bay has earned an international reputation for producing high quality Cabernet and Merlot blends, Syrah, Chardonnay, and an impressive array of aromatic white wines.
Hawke’s Bay is the country’s leading wine and food tourism destination, and home to many of the New Zealand’s finest wineries. It is the second largest wine growing region, with an established route that also showcases the area’s art deco architecture and artisan producers including farmers’ markets and local gourmet stores.
Hawke’s Bay has earned an international reputation for producing high quality Cabernet and Merlot blends, Syrah, Chardonnay, and an impressive array of aromatic white wines. There are more than 70 wineries in this section of the New Zealand wine trail,, many with cellar doors and fantastic restaurants on site.The Wairarapa, which means ‘glistening water’ in Maori, region is crammed with colonial charm and around 20 award-winning vineyards mostly featuring boutique wineries producing a limited amount of exceptional wines. Pinot Noir and the country’s signature Sauvignon Blanc reign supreme here, while most vineyards are within walking distance of the quaint town of Martinborough – which is renowned for its gastronomic restaurants.
Marlborough is the largest wine growing region and the Sauvignon Blanc capital of New Zealand, making it a must travel destination on any classic NZ wine trail. As well as the wine that introduced New Zealand to the world, there are also excellent Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling varieties on offer. The region is also home to the Marlborough Sounds, a collection of ancient sunken river valleys submerged by Pacific waters and surrounded by forested hills, sheltered inlets and sandy bays. While wine and food tastings will occupy most of your time on the classic New Zealand wine trail, there are other exciting activities and cultural experiences to be explored in towns along the way. The towns of Hastings and Napier in Hawke’s Bay have some of the most charming art deco and Spanish colonial architecture in the world. Among other appealing townships on this New Zealand wine trail are Greytown, Featherstone and Carterton.
The capital city of Wellington is also nearby, which offers award-winning restaurants, cafes and breweries – while a cable car ride to the Botanical Gardens is rewarded with amazing views of the city. Blenheim, the main town in Marlborough, is unsurprisingly popular with seafood lovers given the closeness of the Marlborough Sounds.
Contact Wine Paths for more inspirational ideas and start planning your personal journey down the classic New Zealand wine trail.