As the second-largest and most historic wine region in New Zealand, Hawke’s Bay is the ideal destination for wine lovers. If your vision of a perfect holiday is touring the gorgeous countryside and tasting local wines, you’re sure to fall in love with Hawkes Bay. You can take your pick from more than 200 vineyards and 76 wineries. But if you’re short on time, here’s our list of the top wineries in Hawkes Bay!
Top Wineries in the Hawke’s Bay Region
Here are our top recommendations for wineries in Hawke’s Bay. You can taste the wines, wander through the vineyards, or enjoy a tasty lunch washed down by a bottle of their best stuff!
Te Mata – A Historic Hawke Bay Winery
Te Mata has been running ever since 1896, making it one of the oldest wineries in Hawke’s Bay and New Zealand as a whole. Over the years, they have honed their techniques, and they make some of the best wines around. With five carefully picked vineyards nestled in the Havelock Hills, the conditions are perfect for winemaking. Every Te Mata wine is superb, but the Coleraine is by far the most sought after blend. You can book a wine tasting session in the Te Mata cellar to try these wines for yourself in the atmospheric setting.
Black Barn Vineyards, Havelock Hills
The Black Barn Vineyards is a favourite spot for locals and visitors alike. There’s plenty to do here! The cosy Kitchen shop offers great local food, and there’s a weekly Growers’ Market throughout the summer. If you have time to stop for a bite to eat, the Bistro serves simple but delicious seasonal dishes. And of course, not forgetting the chance to taste the Black Barn Vineyards’ wines. Take your pick from a range of wine tasting experiences, with something to suit everyone.
Enjoy Wine and Live Music at Clearview Estate
The Clearview Estate has become one of the most well-respected bay wineries in the Hawke’s Bay Region. Business partners Tim and Helma took on the massive project of hand grafting the land and planting wines in 1986. Now, you can find a thriving vineyard that produces new whites, reds, and dessert wines ever year, as well as some old favourites. The Red Shed Restaurant is the perfect spot to indulge in brunch or lunch. Enjoy a meal complemented by the Estate’s wines, or visit on a Friday evening to soak up the vibes and the live music. Once you’ve visited once, you’ll be dying to come back again soon!
Trinity Hill, Gimblett Gravels
If you head away from Napier and the coast in a south west direction, you’ll come across the gravelly, dry bed of the Ngaruroro River. This unique wine-growing area with super fertile soil produces incredible red wines. Trinity Hill is one of the hotspots of the Gimblett Gravels region, producing Syrah, Rose, Chardonnay, and Lost Garden wines.
You can visit Trinity Hill every day of the week, between 11-4 on weekdays and 10-5 on weekends. With a focus on quality over quantity, you won’t want to miss this excellent winery in the Hawke’s Bay region, offering a wide range of wines. Taste their best selections in the barrel room-turned dedicated tasting room, or share a picnic on the lawn when the sun’s shining.
Stonecroft Hawke’s Bay
Another Gimblett Gravels vineyard, the Stonecroft wines benefit from the well-drained, warm soil. The result is rich, elegantly fruity vintages that continue to develop and improve once bottled. Both the vineyard and winery are certified organic and run by a family business, using time-honoured techniques. During the summer, you can visit the Stonecroft cellar door, meet the owners, and taste at least 7 different wines.
Mission Estate: Birthplace of NZ Wine
Dating back to 1851, it’s not for nothing that Mission Estate calls itself the birthplace of wine in New Zealand. The Estate was first established by missionaries from France, who brought their experience, knowledge, and passion for winemaking. The Mission Estate Winery made its first sale in 1870, and has gone from strength to strength ever since.
Visit the restaurant to indulge your senses in delectable food and wines amongst stunning views. Or head to the Cellar Door (open 7 days/week) to sample the wines and learn more about the vineyard. You can even stay on-site for several days in the elegant French-style Farmhouse, nestled within the vineyard grounds.
Te Awa Winery
If you’re looking for an incredible setting for a meal, head to the Te Awa Winery. The restaurant serves up delicious plates that are just right to share with friends or loved ones. The dishes are perfectly accompanied by a bottle of wine from the Te Awa Collection.
Alternatively, head to the Cellar Door for wine tastings, including classic Hawke’s Bay offerings such as Bordeaux, Syrah, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, and more. The Te Awa Single Estate wines are all produced on one Hawke Bay site in the legendary Gimblett Gravels, while the Kidnapper Cliffs varieties are designed especially for cellaring.
Church Road Winery
One of the most historic spots in the Hawke’s Bay Region, the Church Road winery has been in operation since 1897. The winemakers here effortlessly blend traditional techniques with innovative methods. This allows them to stay at the forefront of the wine scene in New Zealand.
Events take place every day at Church Road, from wine tastings to in-depth wine experiences for enthusiasts. The gorgeous Church Road grounds invite you to stay, wander, and sip another glass of wine, while you drink in the surrounding beauty. If you have time, book a table at the award-winning restaurant, where dishes are carefully matched to the delectable wines.
Crab Farm Winery
If you’re looking for the finest wines accompanied by delicious food and live music, head to Crab Farm Winery. This family-run establishment serves up the best local food and wine every week from Thursday through to Sunday. The Jardine family has owned this land for over a century and producing excellent wine since 1987. Make sure to visit for lunch, a wine tasting session, or to share an evening of food, wine, and music.
If you’re into clean eating and living, you’ll love the Moana Park Winery. Every single bottle of wine is produced here using no additives at all. At Moana Park, the vision is to create amazing wines that are 100% plant-based, low-allergen, and tasty, with a low impact on the environment. You can visit the Cellar Door any day of the week between 10 am-5 pm (12 pm – 5 pm during the winter) to try out the wines and buy some of their best stuff! And if you’re after a yummy bite to eat, don’t miss the Restaurant, which serves up platters, cheese boards, pizza, and a range of drinks.
De La Terre Winery and Cafe
De La Terre is just a short drive from Napier through the surrounding countryside, where you’ll find the only brick winery in the bay area. This family business has been running since 2009, producing an extraordinary range of wines due to the wide variety of grapes grown here. You can visit their outdoor cafe area and cellar door from Friday-Sunday. Don’t miss the handmade pizzas cooked in their wood-fired pizza oven – perfect when washed down with a refreshing glass of wine! Booking is recommended if you’d like to eat at the De La Terre Cafe.
Craggy Range: Stay Amongst the Vineyards
If you have several days to while away in the Hawke’s Bay region, consider staying at Craggy Range. Located just below Te Mata Peak in Havelock North, it’s just a short drive south of Napier. Craggy Range sits in one of the best winemaking areas in the Hawke’s Bay Region. Once you’ve visited, you’ll be sure to come back again!
Not only can you visit the Cellar Door to taste and buy the collection of wines, but you can also dine at the restaurant, and even stay in the little cottages amongst the vineyards. Enjoy the breathtaking views of Te Mata and the Tuki Tuki River, take a dip in the outdoor pool, or relax by the outdoor fireplace with a bottle of Craggy-Range wine.
The Wrap Up
If you’re a wine enthusiast, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy in the beautiful Hawke’s Bay region. From the coastline to further inland, the area is dotted with some of the finest vineyards with fine soil, ensuring high-quality, delicious wine. Combine with tasty seasonal food at any of the top local restaurants, and the gorgeous views of the countryside, and it’s the perfect recipe for relaxation and indulgence.
Just a short drive south of Napier, you can visit the Hawke’s Bay region for an afternoon or several days. You’re sure to fall in love with this iconic region and its first-class NZ wines. So head to one of our recommended vineyards and wineries to taste the local wines (and take home a bottle or two!)
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