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June 29, 2021 0 Comments


New Zealand has a reputation for good wine  and probably my favorite thing to do in the summer is drink the stuff at itโ€™s source, in the sun, with good people and a platter to share.

One day last summer I was doing just this with a London based friend who was complaining that to go to a winery, she โ€œhas to go to Franceโ€.

While the comment only made me jealous at the time, a year later I understand my proximity to wineries wherever I may be in my home country is pretty special.

Most of New Zealandโ€™s wine is produced in ten major wine growing regions which are spread across the county: Northland, Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawkeโ€™s Bay, Wellington, Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury and Central Otago. Here are (in my opinion) the best New Zealand wineries which are well worth a visit:

Stonyridge Vinyard โ€“ Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island can be a mission to get around without a car and designated driver, but Stonyridge is easily accessible from the local bus and has a gorgeous views.

You can choose from a range of cheeses ($18 each or $60 for all) which are served with honeycomb and fresh fruit (which match perfectly with their fallen Angel white wines), as well as breads, crackers and crostinis.

Stonyridge Winery Waiheke

Matwhero Wines โ€“ Gisborne

Playing a game of petanque in the sun or walking the vines with a glass of wine in hand while you wait for lunch is  pretty ideal.

Their cellar door offers a childrenโ€™s platter, trio of cheeses or a gourmet antipasto platter for two ($36) or four people ($65) and includes a selection of cheeses, salami, pastrami, smoked salmon, caperberries, olives, gherkins, pesto, sundried tomatoes, feta and hummus which is served with fresh ciabatta bread and crackers.

Best New Zealand Wineries Gisborne

Church Road Winery โ€“ Hawkes Bay

Church Road has a beautiful building as well as a massive lawn area with picnic tables. In addition to their complimentary tasting (3-4 wines) Church Road offers additional premium wine tasting for $5 or $10 per person.

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