Waiheke Island is renowned for its vineyards – and Cable Bay is among the cream of the crop. This riverside winery is renowned for producing Sauvingnon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. Combining a lush wine tasting session with some of the island’s best views, this is one place that knows a thing or two about hospitality. To top things off nicely, Cable Bay has a fantastic restaurant that offers some of the area’s finest dishes.
Matakana is another major wine-producer in the wider Auckland region. A short drive north of downtown will bring you to the lovely Ascension Wine Estate. This establishment is known for their tastefully-crafted wines as well as an incredible Italian-inspired food menu. The family-owned vineyard cultivates several grape varieties, including Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Syrah, Viognier, and Sauvignon Blanc.
This seasoned establishment claims to be the ‘most awarded‘ winery in New Zealand. Given the fact they’ve been in the business since the early 1960s, and now export to more than 50 countries across the globe, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Mangere vineyard is one of two of Villa Maria Estate wineries in New Zealand – and is the place that started it all. This striking venue combines the best wine offerings with a restaurant that boasts great food and a fantastic live music lineup.
This is the very first vineyard you’ll come across in Kumeu – another prominent viticultural area. Soljans has several awards under its belt, and has been in the wine-making business for three generations. Their vineyard specialises in Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinotage varieties, offering a great combination of still and sparkling wines for all tastes. Their restaurant and café appeal to family-friendliness – not only do they have a kids menu, there’s also a children’s play area right outside.
This glorious winery in Warkworth (just before Matakana from the city) brings a true artisan flair to the degustation experience. Along its 200 acres of land, you’ll find exquisite boutique wines, remarkable olive groves, a restaurant, a sculpture trail, and even its own production of chocolates. Their wines include the classic Bordeaux blends, as well as a selection of Pinot Gris and Rosés.