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Wine (and dine?)

posts: 58
reviews: 13
Wine (and dine?)


Does anyone have any recommendations for vineyards/wineries with cellar door sales?

I'd also love to know of any with cafes (lunch / coffee & cakes) or restaurants (dinner) or vineyard tours

Anywhere on North Island will do, as the trip itinerary is still being worked out.

Aoraki Mount Cook...
posts: 786
reviews: 42
1. Re: Wine (and dine?)

Where do you start.... ...there are so many options.

I'd start by trying to get a NZ wine buyer's guide or something similar. Michael Cooper does a good one each year.

Also then pick the types of wines you would like to drink.

The following varieties are generally found in NZ.

Chardonnay - Auckland, Waiheke, Hawkes Bay Gisborne

Merlot/ Cab Sav and other Bordeaux style wines - Mainly Waiheke & Hawkes Bay (Martinborough too)

Sauvignon Blanc - Famous region is Marlborough (South Island), but Hawkes Bay and Martinborough do some nice ones as well.

Syrah - Hawkes Bay (limited)

Chenin Blanc - Gisborne

Rose - Waiheke

Viogner - Gisborne

Pinot Noir - Best ones come from Marlborough and Central Otago (both South Island)

Pinot Gris - Hawkes Bay, Marlborough and Central Otago

If you can be a bit more specific about the types of wines you like, I happy to give you recommendations of vineyards. I've been through most NZ wine regions, except Martinborough and I'd like to remedy that situation as there are some great vineyards there!

Aoraki Mount Cook...
posts: 786
reviews: 42
2. Re: Wine (and dine?)

For an online resource have a look at Cuisine Magazine www.cuisine.co.nz

Under wine they have a sections with NZ wineries - have a look.

Note: where I have referred to Martinborough - this part of Wairarapa.

posts: 58
reviews: 13
3. Re: Wine (and dine?)

Hi Nettie

I know that I like Villa Maria Reisling. My ideal wine is white and off dry (somewhere between dry and medium) however I enjoy trying new wines.

I was in Western Australia a couple of years ago and nearly every day we called into a winery cellar door on the way back from a trip somewhere. It was great trying so many new wines, I didn't like them all, but loved the experience.

Northland, New...
posts: 701
reviews: 1
4. Re: Wine (and dine?)

You will be spoilt for choice in Napier/Hawkes Bay. The food at the wineries is generally excellent. I'd recommend Vidal, Kim Crawford, Clearview and Brookfields to get you started.

In Northland you should visit Cottle Hill and Marsden Estate in Kerikeri - both serve food and do cellar door sales. Also visit Karikari Estate in Doubtless Bay for food and tastings. The setting is fantastic! A bit further south are Ransom Wines (just south of Warkworth - they have the most delicious platters) and Ascention (Matakana). Most of the wineries in Northland are only open for lunches so check first if you want to dine at night.

I'll leave it to others to educate you on the South Island...

Aoraki Mount Cook...
posts: 786
reviews: 42
5. Re: Wine (and dine?)

The best place to get Villa Maria wines is at their cellar door in Auckland. This is only a short distance from Auckland airport

(I make frequent trips there when in Auckland and normally take a case home with me).

Villa Maria and its sister vineyards produce some absolutely stunning wines in addition to the riesling you like. Vidal Syrah and the VM Reserve Chardonay and Reserve Merlot are some of my favourites.

The cellar door staff I have always found very knowledgable and surprisingly informative about their wines - sometimes recommending a cheaper one over a more expensive one.

Also the range they have for tasting there is very good.

Unfortunately no cafe there.

Hawkes Bay have some good Rieslings, but the ones I really like are Marlborough.

I'll have a think and get back to you with some other recommendations.

Aoraki Mount Cook...
posts: 786
reviews: 42
6. Re: Wine (and dine?)

Just a few ideas.

Waiheke isn't exactly Rieslings, but it's a great place to go. Mudbrick produces wines, but it really is a restaurant first and foremost - really great food and wonderful views back to Auckland.

Unfortunately most of the vineyards are very small (boutique) and you won't get much selection for tasting.

Stoneyridge produces Larose, a Bordeaux style red that is wonderful. It isn't available for tasting at Stoneyridge, but you can buy it by the glass at Te Whau - also another great Waiheke vineyard with it's own restaurant.

I've done a wine tour with Ananda tours (www.waiheke.co.nz/anandawine.htm) on Waiheke - one of the good things about this is that you can ask to go to specific vineyards (it's not always possible, but worth knowing).

Around Auckland you have a wide range of wineries. Villa Maria and Babich are probably two of my picks. Villa Maria definately doesn't have a cafe or restaurant and I don't think Babich does either.

The Hawkes Bay - for your taste I'd put Brookfields on your list. I don't specifically remember their Riesling (it rates well), but they have a Gewurz and a Pinot Gris that I really like. Beware of the Gewurz - it tends to be slightly higher in alcohol than most wines.

Church Road is good, if for no other reason than you get to sample the Montana range of wines including those from Marlborough. The Church Road Chardonnay is a bit of 'staple' - good predictable quality - you are always safe getting a bottle of it. The Church Road Reserve Chardonnay is even better.

This is just down the road from Mission estate, which is worth going to as well.

Vidal is also good - but you can get to taste these wines at Villa Maria if you miss out here.

I think we did this tour with Vicky's wine tours - again able to request specific vineyards. www.vickyswinetours.co.nz

Others to look at are Sileni - which has it's own cooking school (and a restaurant), Clearview, Te Mata and many, many others.

As for Martinborough - I haven't been there, but vineyards that come highly recommended are Ata Rangi and Palliser.

You have said that you only going to the North Island - so I haven't included any South Island recommendations.

Anyway I hope this helps - I am sure that you will find many wonderful vineyards that I haven't mentioned here.

Bainbridge Island...
posts: 240
reviews: 29
7. Re: Wine (and dine?)

Hi - our trip in Nov/Dec was primarily spent visiting all the wine regions in NZ. NettieNZ has provided wonderful detail on specific wineries, so I would just add, in general:

* Cuisine magazine (in conjunction with AA travel) had the best overall NZ wine trails map that we found -- we picked it up at the AA office in Auckland, used it for a month and it was in tatters when we were done! We never saw another one, so glad we'd picked it up at the start.

* each region has wine trail maps that are easily found at the wineries in that region, and the local i-site visitors centers. These provide specifics on cellar door sales/hours and whether food is available.

* with winery cafes we found the vast majority were only open during the day (some for coffee too). There were exceptions, primarily for the larger wineries.

Enjoy your trip,


Thunder Bay, Canada
posts: 388
reviews: 163
8. Re: Wine (and dine?)

Wow! What great posts!

I can't add much relative to wines, but I can tell you that in either Kerikeri or Blenheim you MUST visit Makana Choclatiers - I mean, what goes better with wine than chocolate???? They make their chocolates up on site and their working area has a glass viewing wall which is intriguing.

Don't miss it!

Late Day Traveller

posts: 58
reviews: 13
9. Re: Wine (and dine?)

Thanks for all those great ideas. One thing I like about visiting wineries is that I can try wines I don't usually buy. There's so many suggestions I'm bound to find several.

It sounds as if my only problem is going to be getting it all into UK!