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HOME AT FIRST'S

ADVENTURE

NEW ZEALAND

HOME AT FIRST's

introduction to

New Zealand Wine

Photo © Home At First

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.

New Zealand's

wineries open their doors for tours,

tastings, light meals, & purchasing.

A New Zealand

WINE TASTING

SAMPLER

— PART ONE —

new zealand's wine trail
extends across both main
islands, leading to more
than a few pleasant
 surprises.

 

What's New in New Zealand?
          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

Marlborough, Vineyard, South Island. Photo courtesy NZ Tourism.
Marlborough, Vineyard, South Island.

wine world’s newest and most surprising

 

success stories.

The BIG 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 country’s production).
          Nowadays the big story is old news. For wine enthusiasts, a trip to the Hawke’s 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.

The NEW 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 Zealand’s 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 varieties.


 

A Gazetteer of New Zealand Wine Regions

 Today, a touring excursion throughout New Zealand can follow
an almost nation-long wine trail. Here’s a gazetteer of wine regions
you might visit as you travel throughout New Zealand' North Island.

NORTH ISLAND—

1. NORTHLAND: New Zealand’s smallest wine region. 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 Marsden Estate, are located close to Home At First lodgings in Northland.

2. 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 1980’s, 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.

3. 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 Auckland or the Coromandel Peninsula south to the Rotorua/Taupo region might want to stop by the Ohinemuri Estate Winery at Karangahake 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.

4. HAWKE’S BAY: 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 Hawke’s Bay region will find its well-established wine trail to be an easy way to sample the region’s considerable variety. We

 

recommend consulting the

region’s wine trail map 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 Te Mata outside of Havelock North a few miles southeast of Hastings.

5. WAIRARAPA: The focus of this region — the southern tip of the North Island — is Martinborough, about 40 miles northeast of Home At First's Wellington 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.

— END OF PART ONE —

PART TWO: OUR WINE TOUR CONTINUES ON NEW ZEALAND'S SOUTH ISLAND.

Visiting wineries throughout New Zealand is easily done
as a part of a comprehensive HOME AT FIRST NEW ZEALAND itinerary.

NEW ZEALAND is easily reached from HOME AT FIRST.

ASK TO SPEAK WITH A HOME AT FIRST "NEW ZEALAND SPECIALIST"
TRAVEL CONSULTANT CERTIFIED BY THE NEW ZEALAND TOURISM BOARD.

—HOME AT FIRST—
AFFORDABLE DREAM TRAVEL WITH ALL THE COMFORTS OF HOME.