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U.S.FTC GUIDELINES PLEASE NOTE: we act as an affiliate for several companies that feature on our website. In some cases we may earn a commission from referrals to those companies. For further information please refer to our Privacy and Disclaimer policies which can be found in the "US" tab.

New Zealand Wineries

Our New Zealand wineries are consistently rated amongst the world's best.

Perfect growing conditions contribute to a wide variety including classy reds, chardonnays, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir     and pinot gris.

Want to visit some New Zealand wineries?

You can view a wide range of New Zealand wine tours HERE.

Relaxing at a Hawke's Bay winery.

* North Island Wine Regions

* South Island Wine Regions

* our vineculture history

* The Classic New Zealand Wine Trail

* Maps showing our wine regions

North Island Wine Regions

Hawke's Bay

Wining and dining in Hawke's Bay. Image courtesy

Hawke's Bay sits on the central East coast of the North Island.

Napier, a coastal city with a population of around 65,000, is the region's largest, and is known for it's wineries and art deco architecture.

The region is known as our second largest, and plantings date back to 1851.     

The region is famous for its range of reds, Chardonnay and aromatic whites.


Tolaga Bay wharf, Gisborne. Image courtesy TNZ

Gisborne is also located on the North Island's central East coast, and North of Hawke's Bay.

Known as the first place in New Zealand to see the sun rise each day, it was also the first place where English explorer James Cook landed.

Gisborne is known for its fine Chardonnay, but is also home to a wide range of red and white varieties.

New varieties and clones are always under development in this innovative region.


The Toast Martinborough festival. Image courtesy Scott Venning

The Wairarapa region is located to the North of our capital Wellington.

Home to numerous boutique wineries, the region is well known for its Pinot Noir (around 50% of all plantings), Sauvignon Blanc (around 30% of plantings), Arromatics, Chardonnay, Syrah and dessert blends.

Masterton, Gladstone and Martinborough are the largest towns in the region.


Hanging around on Waiheke Island. Image courtesy Adam Bryce

Some of our largest wine producers are located in and around Auckland, one of our oldest wine producing regions.

Red blends and Chardonnay each account for around 25% of plantings, with some excellent Syrah and Pinot Gris varieties also in demand.

Waiheke Island, Matakana, and West Auckland are the most prolific producers in the region.


Waitangi Meeting House. Image courtesy Destination Northland.

Our most Northern region offers an almost sub-tropical climate, with more growing heat than any other region in the country.

New Zealand's first vines were planted here in 1819 by the missionary, Samuel Marsden.

Northland is known for some wonderful white blends including Chardonnays, Pinot Gris, and Viogniers.

Reds include Syrahs, Cabernets, Merlots, Pinotages, and Chambourcin.

South Island Wine Regions


Tour the Marlborough wineries by bike

This is wine lovers paradise. New Zealand's largest wine region has around two thirds of New Zealand's total acreage under production.

Famous for it's range of beautiful Sauvignon Blanc, the Marlborough is also a prolific producer of Pinot Noir, aromatics, and Chardonnay.

Located  at the top of the South Island, the region's hub is the town of Blenheim. The ferry port of Picton is located nearby as are the fabulous Marlborough Sounds.

Central Otago

Touring the Central Otago wineries

Towering mountains and stunning lakes form a backdrop for some of New Zealand's best cellar doors.

Popular for it's award winning Pinot Noir, Central Otago also produces a variety of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and aromatics.

The bustling towns of Queenstown and Wanaka have literally hundreds of restaurants, bars and cafes providing almost unlimited chances to sample our local produce.

North Canterbury

The stunning Rakaia River in the Canterbury region. Image courtesy Matt Crawford

The areas North and South of Christchurch are fast gaining a reputation for their excellent blends.

To the North of Christchurch, the Waipara Valley is home to some fine Rieslings, Chardonnays and Pinot Noir.

To the South of Christchurch, the Canterbury Plains sit in the shadows of the Southern Alps, and offer perfect conditions for Rieslings and Pinot Noir.

Check out some great tours below.


Soaking up the sun at a Nelson winery

Nelson and the Tasman region are well known for their golden beaches, secluded bays, and thriving arts culture.

One of our Great Walks, the Abel Tasman Coastal Track attracts trampers from around the world.

And the region is fast becoming one of the South Island's most popular with lovers of fine wines.

Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and aromatics are all in plentiful supply here.

Waitaki Valley

The Moeraki Boulders in the Waitaki region. Image courtesy Miles Holden

Vines were first planted in the Waitaki in 2001.

With the stunning Southern Alps on one side, and the Pacific Ocean on the other, the valley offers unique growing conditions.

Pinot Noir is the dominant variety here, but Pinot Gris and Riesling are also growing in popularity.

The major towns in the region are Oamaru and Kurow.

If you visit the region check out the unusual Moeraki Boulders and the Oamaru Blue Penguin colony.

Wine in New Zealand - a brief history of New Zealand wineries

Our wines first began to make an impact on the world stage during the 1990s, with our sauvignon blancs and pinot noirs carving the path for our "assault" on the world market.

But wine has been produced on our shores since the early to mid 1800s, and vines were cultivated in the gardens of some of our early settlers.

Our first vines were planted in 1819 in the beautiful Bay of Islands by the missionary Samuel Marsden. 

But our first producer of wine is regarded as James Busby, who also holds the distinction of being New Zealand's first British Resident.

A variety of early settlers, inspired by Busby's work, began experimenting with a variety of wines, but were hindered by a range of pests and diseases.

The early 1900s saw a slow but steady growth in production, until the industry began to flourish during World War 2. The government raised duties on imported wines making our own product much more enticing.

Around the middle of the 1900s our governments began to introduce a range of measures to encourage the local industry. Retail and restaurant sales were encouraged, then during the 60s and 70s, overseas investments increased significantly.

This increased investment lead to an improvement in the quality of our local product, and New Zealanders lapped it up.

But in 1985, our government de regulated the market allowing our Aussie neighbours to enter our market.

This competition forced our local producers to increase their export focus, and from a humble beginning, our local producers now export more than two billion dollars worth of product every year.

There are now well over 500 local wineries, and a vibrant market, constantly alive with new labels and blends.

Samuel Marsden would be a very happy man.

The Classic New Zealand Wine Trail - perhaps the best way to see a range of New Zealand wineries

Got ten days to spare?

If you have, and your main focus is wine, then this is the perfect itinerary for you.

Our Classic New Zealand Wine Trail takes you from Hawke's Bay on the North Island, to the Marlborough region on the South Island.

Along the way you will visit several of our top wine producing regions, see some stunning scenery, and of course meet lots of friendly locals.

You can view this amazing itinerary here.

If you have any questions at all about the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail, please ASK US.

Classic New Zealand Wine Trail route map

New Zealand Wineries - our main wine producing regions

New Zealand Wine Regions Map Courtesy

New Zealand Wineries - more information

For more information on New Zealand wine, nzwine are the respected experts.

We thank them for some of the information supplied for this page.

You can visit their website here.

New Zealand Wineries - find a tour

Search a wide range of tours here.

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