The Best Wineries in Gisborne, New Zealand

Vineyards | © Barni1/Pixabay
Vineyards | © Barni1/Pixabay
Photo of Thalita Alves
28 August 2017

With a sunny and temperate climate and relatively remote eastern North Island location, Gisborne has become New Zealand’s third largest wine-producing region. Chardonnay is the dominant varietal, though the area has received acclaim for Pinot Noir, Gewürztraminer, Syrah, and Pinot Gris wines, too. Here’s a look at what the keenest connoisseurs can expect from some of the region’s best wineries.

Bushmere Estate

Restaurant, Wine, Beer
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Bushmere Estate is a family-owned winery and vineyard that has cultivated their grapes for more than 40 years. Owned by David and Shona Egan, the vineyard is spread over 17 hectares in Gisborne’s Central Valley region and grows Chardonnay, Merlot, Gewürztraminer, Viognier, Pinot Gris and Montepulciano. The restaurant, The Vines, is also highly regarded for its degustation sessions and pleasantly-matched meals.

Millton Vineyards and Winery

Millton Vineyards & Winery was the first New Zealand winery to attain BioGro certification, but it’s not just eco-friendliness that has made this a desirable attraction; Millton’s Riesling and Chenin Blanc have won a number of awards and international recognition. Established by James and Annie Millton in 1984, the owners produce everything on-site to further uphold their philosophy of sustainability.

Millton Vineyard, 119 Papatu Rd, Gisborne, New Zealand, +64 6-862 8680

Matawhero Wines

Established in 1968 as a grape supplier for local wineries, Matawhero Wines has since evolved into an award-winning winemaker in its own right. The Gewürztraminers and Chardonnays have garnered national and international attention since the 1970s, and the owner crafted the last vintage in 1999. The Searle family took charge of Matawhero in 2008 and continue to carry the brand’s well-established heritage status.

Matawhero Wines, 189 Riverpoint Rd, Gisborne, New Zealand, +64 6-867 6140

Poverty Bay Winery

Home to Bridge Estate Vineyards, the boutique Poverty Bay Winery is one of a handful of Bordeaux-style producers in New Zealand. The winery stands out with an award-winning cellar door; a friendly rural setting, including the 120-year-old stables; and wine-tasting sessions aptly paired with European cuisine. The name is an homage to naval captain and explorer James Cook’s original—albeit deceiving—name for the region.

Poverty Bay Winery, 16 Riverpoint Rd, Gisborne, New Zealand, (029) 232 2576

Across Poverty Bay, Gisborne, New Zealand | © Michael Coghlan/Flickr

Amor Bendall

Established in 1998 by Noel Amor and Alison Bendall, this boutique winery might be younger than most, but it has earned more than 80 unique accolades since its early beginnings. Its Sauvignon Blanc, in particular, has won awards in New Zealand and Australia. Like many Gisborne vineyards, Gewürztraminer and Chardonnay are among the specialities, though they’ve recently added Pinot Gris and Pinotage varietals.

Amor Bendall Wines, 41 Esplanade, Inner Harbour, Gisborne, New Zealand, +64 (21) 859 435

Kirkpatrick Estate Winery

Located on the picturesque Patutahi Plateau, Kirkpatrick Estate Winery is a unique, single-estate producer. Set on a 5.49-hectare vineyard, the varying elevation levels, terraces and soils allow this boutique winemaker to cultivate a range of different grapes. Merlot and Chardonnay are the their largest outputs, followed by Gewürztraminer and Viognier. They also grow a small selection of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon varietals.

Kirkpatrick Estate Winery, 569 Wharekopae Rd, Patutahi, New Zealand, +64 6-862 7750

Chardonnay Grapes | © jane2494/Pixabay

Wrights Vineyard and Winery

Geoff Wright, a third-generation winemaker, decided to leave his Auckland home in 1999 to pursue his dream of opening a Gisborne-based organic winery. Nowadays, Geoff and wife Nicola own and operate three vineyards, as well as a winery and a café. Although Wrights has only been in business since 2000, the vineyards have some of the oldest plantings of Gewürztraminer, Syrah and Chardonnay in Gisborne.

Wrights Vineyard and Winery, 1093 Wharerata Rd, Manutuke, New Zealand, +64 6-862 8746

TW Wines

Long-time friends Paul Tietjen and Geordie Witters created TW Wines in 1998 after realising their shared a passion for quality wine production. Their vineyard is nestled along the Hexton-Waiharere foothills, which has been christened the Golden Slope due to the resemblance to France’s Côte d’Or. The handcrafted and award-winning creations include Merlot, Chardonnay and Viognier.

TW Wines, Back Ormond Rd, Gisborne, New Zealand, +64 (21) 222 0135

Vineyards | © Barni1/Pixabay

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