Wine regions NZ: Everything you need to know

The first grapes were planted in New Zealand in 1819 for the purpose of making sacramental wine, but almost two hundred years later the country now produces some of the finest wines in the world.

The success of New Zealand wine regions can be attributed to a maritime climate ­– none of the country’s vineyards are further than 80miles from the ocean – plentiful sunshine and evenings cooled by sea breezes. These conditions combine to produce wines of distinctive purity, vibrancy and intensity with a fine balance between flavour and intensity.

At Wine Paths, our local experts can organise exclusive tours of the best wine country New Zealand has to offer – including vineyard visits, elaborate tastings, luxury stays, exquisite food and exciting activities.

Auckland is one of the oldest wine regions of New Zealand and home to some of the country’s largest wine companies, producing a diverse range that includes world class Chardonnay and stunning Syrah.

Wine regions of New Zealand

All of our private tours of wine regions New Zealand can be tailor-made to meet your exact requirements, ensuring ever detail is taken care of so that you can relax and enjoy the matter at hand – tasting wonderful wines surrounded by incredible natural beauty. Since each of the wine regions of New Zealand has their own distinctive personality, here is an overview of the country’s most influential wine growing areas to help you decide your ideal destination:

Marlborough brought New Zealand wines to the attention of the world with its classical Sauvignon Blancs during the 1980s and two thirds of the country’s wines – including exquisite Pinor Noir and intense Chardonnay – are produced here.

Hawke’s Bay is the second largest wine region of New Zealand with an established wine route that also showcases the area’s art deco architecture and artisan producers. The region owns a diverse array of wines, although it’s best known for Bordeaux-style blends and Chardonnay.

The relatively remote New Zealand wine region of Gisborne features a mix of large producers and boutique wineries – and is the first place in the country where you will see the sunrise. Chardonnay dominates the wines here, closely trailed by Pinot Gris.

wine regions New Zealand - Wine Paths

Martinborough in Wairarapa, which means ‘glistening waters’ in Maori, is a compact NZ wine region specialising in boutique wineries that produce a small amount of exceptional wines, especially its Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.

Sun seekers will be drawn to Nelson, a New Zealand wine region on the South Island that is famed for sunshine and beautiful scenery – with many wineries offering a vibrant artistic and café culture experience.

Of all the New Zealand wine areas, Central Otago is arguably the most awe-inspiring, with soaring snow-capped mountains and crystal clear rivers carving their way through ravines where Pinot Noir flourishes.

Auckland is one of the oldest wine regions of New Zealand and home to some of the country’s largest wine companies, producing a diverse range that includes world class Chardonnay and stunning Syrah. A 30-minute ferry away from Auckland, Waiheke Island takes the lead as the region's name-hold for superb wines. 

Canterbury and Canterbury North is where the Southern Alps fall into the lowlands, creating ideal conditions for growing expressive Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and aromatics.

Finally, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty are two of the smaller wine regions of NZ, featuring pockets of vineyards scattered across rolling farmland where the focus is on Chardonnay followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc.

Our local travel expert can suggest an ideal tour tailor-made to your preferences. With incredible wines to try and stunning locations to see make sure you put New Zealand on your agenda of wine-regions to visit.


If you're interested in one of our New Zealand Wine Tours, please visit this link.

Wine Paths Suggestions in New Zealand

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