There are vineyards throughout the country, some is some rather unlikely places. However, most of the vineyards are in several established wine regions. These have been recognized as being particularly suitable for wine production. Regional styles are beginning to develop as an understanding of each region (and its suitability for particular grape varieties) increases.
One of the best ways to gain an appreciation of the wine of each region is on an organized tour. You can certainly visit many wineries yourself. However, if you are limited for time and want to gain a deeper understanding of a wine district (as well as taste some of the best wines) then an organized tour may be the way to go. Usually the tour guide will have a good knowledge of the best wineries and know the winemakers personally. You will probably end up with a better overall experience than if you visit the area on your own.
Here is a selection of wine tours available in some of the major wine regions. Click on the link to book a tour or to find further information.
Auckland: North (Matakana Coast)
The Matakana Coast just to the north of Auckland is one of New Zealand's newest wine regions. Although a small area, the quality of the wines is very high, with some of the best red wines in the country coming from here.
West Auckland is one of the oldest New Zealand wine regions and is home to some of the country's most important wine companies.
Although New Zealand's most remote city, Gisborne is well worth a visit to explore the beaches and sample the wines. This is white wine territory, especially chardonnay and gewurztraminer.
Hawkes Bay is the largest wine region in the North Island and is highly regarded for Bordeaux-style reds made from merlot and cabernet sauvignon. It is also one of New Zealand's oldest wine regions.
Marlborough is the largest wine region in New Zealand, renowned around the world for it's sauvignon blanc and sparkling wines. Some of the wineries are large and impressive and well worth a visit as you step off the ferry from the North Island.
Just an hour north of Christchurch, Waipara is emerging as one of the South Island's interesting wine regions. Specialties here include pinot noir, riesling and chardonnay.
Central Otago, and the vineyards around Queenstown, are now producing some of New Zealand's best wines, especially from the pinot noir grape. This tour takes you not only to some of the best wineries, but through some of the region's best scenery as well.
Learn More About New Zealand Wine
For more information about New Zealand wine, read the following:
- New Zealand Grapes and Wine Styles
- New Zealand Wine Regions
- New Zealand Wine and Food Festivals
- New Zealand Wine Region Maps