HOME AT FIRST's
New Zealand Wine
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A NATIONAL DEDICATION TO
QUALITY & EXPANSION
New Zealand wine's have become
world-class, and its wineries are found
in almost all parts of the country. Join us for
one of the world's longest
wine-tasting tours across the North and South
Islands of New Zealand.
their doors for tours,
light meals, & purchasing.
— PART ONE —
new zealand's wine trail
extends across both main
islands, leading to more
than a few pleasant
Time was when New Zealand cuisine meant lamb,
mutton, mint jelly, and peas. And gourmet cuisine in New Zealand meant pan-fried trout and
kiwi fruit. If not forgotten, those days are long gone. Over the last
twenty-five years a culinary revolution has occurred. The leaders of the
revolution have been New Zealand’s vintners. And — this is the fun part
for visitors — wine production has now spread throughout New Zealand. You are welcome to stop by
wineries in almost every region of the North and South Islands to sample some of the
wine world’s newest and most surprising
STORY of New Zealand wines has been about two varieties
and two regions. And, if your wine store has any wines from New Zealand (chances are that
they will have only a few bottles), they will all be Sauvignon Blancs and Chardonnays from
Hawkes Bay on the North Island or Marlborough on the South Island (with 60+ wineries and
52% of the countrys production).
Nowadays the big story is old news. For wine
enthusiasts, a trip to the Hawkes Bay or Marlborough regions remains very rewarding
for the expanding selection of wines both classic and new to be enjoyed.
In recent years these two principal wine
regions have planted new varietals hoping to offer a range of wines with the
appeal of those coming from major wine production regions like Tuscany, Bordeaux, Rhine/Mosel, Napa-Sonoma,
Chile, and Spain.
STORY of New Zealand wines is the proliferation of
varieties of wines in an even wider range of climates and geographies. Indeed, today it is
difficult to be in New Zealand and be more than fifty miles from a wine-producing region.
Moreover, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay have contenders as the undisputed heavyweight
champions of New Zealand wines. New Zealands top Semillons (white wine) and several
red varietals — Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots, and Pinot Noirs have
drawn new attention to new vineyards in new wine producing regions on
both main islands. With so many different geologies and microclimates, New Zealand is ripe for
boutique wineries producing small quantities of high-quality wines of almost all
Today, a touring excursion throughout New
Zealand can follow
an almost nation-long wine trail. Heres a gazetteer of wine
you might visit as you travel throughout New Zealand'
New Zealands smallest wine
Warm and humid conditions here are best for Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.
Two of the mostly boutique wineries in the region,
Cottle Hill and
Estate, are located close to
Home At First lodgings in
AUCKLAND AREA: Winemaking in
New Zealand started here, near Huapai well over 100 years ago. And, while the
Auckland region has never stopped making wine, the
centers of Kiwi wine production have shifted elsewhere. Then, in the 1980s, boutique
vintners on Waiheke Island, a 30-minute ferry ride east of Auckland in the Hauraki Gulf,
discovered the local microclimate is excellent for quality wines. Now other area of
Auckland are making
Pinot Noir grapes
ripening on the vine.
similar discoveries proving that
what goes around comes around. There are now scores of wineries in the
region, from traditional Huapai northwest of the city to
Waiheke Island, to Clevedon south of town. For
those going out to Waiheke Island on the car ferry, we recommend a stop at the
Te Whau ("Tay Fow")
winery at its dramatic location on a steep headland. The views are most unusual for a
vineyard, and its red wines (from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec
varietals) are excellent and available few places other than at the winery.
WAIKATO: South of Auckland there are several
small wineries located in the rich agricultural flatlands of the Waikato District.
Typically, these vineyards experience warm growing seasons and soils best for producing
Chardonnays. Home At First guests moving from
Coromandel Peninsula south to the
Rotorua/Taupo region might want to stop by the
Ohinemuri Estate Winery
on Highway 2 about 12 miles south of the town of Thames and about three
miles south of the town of Paeroa. The winery produces wines from
various types of grapes grown in New Zealand's Gisborne, Hawkes Bay
and Marlborough Regions.
Wine barrels stacked in
the ageing cave.
Largest wine region on the North Island, and second largest in New
Zealand, Hawke’s Bay offers a widely varied topography and many
varieties of wine. Still, the Chardonnay grape is king here, even though
other whites and several reds are found plentifully in the region. Home
At First visitors to the
region will find its well-established wine trail to be an easy way to
sample the region’s considerable variety. We
recommend consulting the
showing 24 wineries in the tri-cities area of Napier, Hastings, and Havelock
North to determine which wineries may be worthwhile stops on your
itinerary. If you have time to visit just one, we recommend
outside of Havelock North a few miles southeast of Hastings.
WAIRARAPA: The focus
of this region the southern tip of the North Island is Martinborough, about 40
miles northeast of Home At First's
city lodgings. Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc are the two primary success stories of the
region, which, like Waiheke Island near Auckland, is known for high quality wines but for
relatively low production quantities. Stop by the
Martinborough Wine Center
at 6 Kitchener Street in Martinborough daily between 10AM-5PM for tastings and purchases
& shipping of
the region's many award-winning wines.
PART TWO: OUR WINE TOUR CONTINUES ON NEW ZEALAND'S
Visiting wineries throughout New Zealand is easily done
as a part of a comprehensive
NEW ZEALAND is easily reached from
ASK TO SPEAK WITH A HOME AT FIRST "NEW
TRAVEL CONSULTANT CERTIFIED BY THE NEW ZEALAND TOURISM
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TRAVEL WITH ALL THE COMFORTS OF HOME.