Hawkes Bay Region
Wines of NZ is an independent guide to New Zealand wines and wineries and provides information on all of the regions including the many wine-related events held throughout the year.
New Zealand has long been famed for its stunning scenery and unspoilt landscape. With a population barely over 4 million and separated by sea from the rest of the world, they take great pride in their self-sustainablility and care for the environment. There is great pride in their “clean, green” image ranging from forest management to biodegradable garbage bags. New Zealand grape growers and winemakers are no different and they too take great effort to protect the environmental integrity of their wine production. To this end a pioneering set of industry standards have been developed, known as Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ), which provides the framework for companies to continually work towards improving all aspects of their performance in terms of environmental, social and economic sustainability in both the vineyard and the winery.
Wine and Dining New Zealand
New Zealand’s food and wine are almost designed for each other. New Zealand’s ‘Pacific Rim’ cuisine takes its inspiration from Europe, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Polynesia, Japan and Vietnam to name just a few. Cafes and restaurants across the country offer a wide variety of lamb (higher sheep population than people in New Zealand), pork and venison, salmon, oysters and pavlova, the national dessert made from meringue, fresh whipped cream and fresh fruit or berries.
Marlborough is located close to the heart of New Zealand, on the north-east corner of the South Island, due west of Wellington. When the first Marlborough vines were planted in 1973 few people predicted that the region would become New Zealand’s largest and best known winegrowing are, with special thanks to the international acclaim of their Sauvignon Blancs. The distinctive zesty fruit flavors of the first wines captured the imagination of the country’s winemakers and wine drinkers alike and sparked an unparalleled boom in vineyard development. Sauvignon Blanc may be the star, but Marlborough has also earned esteem for the multitude of gourmet restaurants and luxury accommodations, not to mention the incredible friendliness of the locals.
Hawkes Bay is the country’s second largest region producing primarily Chardonnay, although other varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Pinot Noir have become staples in many vineyards. Hawke’s Bay Wine Country is characterized by a diverse landscape, bountiful produce, award winning wines, unique wildlife, stunning architecture and rich cultural heritage. Hot on the New Zealand scene, Hawke’s Bay’s stunning Mediterranean climate and enviable East Coast setting lure visitors to experience a region rich in delicious flavors and beautiful things.
All year round, wine tasting right at the cellar door is on offer across the region and food trails lead to outstanding taste experiences. Local produce and personalities abound at weekly farmers’ markets and when it comes to fine dining or something alfresco, Hawke’s Bay restaurants and wineries are hard to beat. The whole region comes out to play and indulge during the region’s big wine weekend, Harvest Hawke’s Bay in February. There are plenty of tour operators specializing in wine tours, whether you want to ride from winery to winery in a van, limousine or on a bicycle.