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New Zealand wine tasting

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We are in the beginning planning stages for a 3 - 4 week trip to NZ and plan to visit both islands. We will be renting a car. We are big wine lovers and want to include some time in our trip for visiting one of the wine regions. We are predominantly interested in red wine and from what I have read, the North Island/Hawke Bay area has more red wine whereas the South Island/Marlborough area is more focused on sauvignon blanc and chardonnay. I am looking for input from wine lovers who have been to both regions and can recommend one over the other relative to quality of wine, beauty of the area, itinerary (convenience to other places), etc.

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