Winery suggestions for the North island!!

Old Dec 28th, 2011, 10:25 PM
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Winery suggestions for the North island!!

Heading to NZ tomorrow. Going to spend a week driving and sight seeing! But we love food and wine. So would love to hear your favourites.
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Old Dec 28th, 2011, 11:04 PM
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I have a very looong list, but it's for the SI.

Palliser Estate and Villa Maria both make fab wines. I've only been to the Villa Maria winery on the SI, but there's also one near Auckland and they'll no doubt have wine from both islands on hand.

http://www.villamaria.co.nz/default.aspx?MenuId=79

Palliser Estate is in Martinborough.

http://www.palliser.co.nz/

Have a wonderful trip aussiedreamer. I hope you'll consider posting a trip report when you get back!
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Old Dec 28th, 2011, 11:21 PM
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The largest and most varied wine region on the North Island is that of Hawkes Bay (closest city is Napier). The quality is high. There have been many recent posts about its wineries on this forum, so you should do a search for these.

There are also wineries around the city of Gisborne, which is a 2 hour, 40 minute drive from Napier. Gisborne is best known for its chardonnays and gewurztraminers. Gisborne is out of the way, so it is not surprising that most of its wineries are small boutique-style wineries, with the exception of the Lindauer/Brancott/Montana tasting room at the waterfront (it is a nice cavernlike tasting room).

There are also wineries on Waiheke Island, which is a boat ride from Auckland; at Kumeu, which is a "20 minute drive from downtown Auckland" (Kumeu River Winery's chardonnay is often considered the best in NZ, and there are other notable wineries in Kumeu, such as Nobilo and Matua); Villa Maria Winery is just minutes from the Auckland Airport in Mangere (consistently excellent wines that are made from grapes sourced from around NZ, the winery is a great place for tasting and/or buying their reserve wines).

Martinborough/Wairarapa wine district, about an hour drive from the capital, Wellington, is known for its great pinot noirs, which tend to be expensive. Martinborough is small, quaint, touristy and pricey. Even though the region is known mainly for its high quality pinot noirs, there are a good many other nice wines produced here. I love Palliser Estate Winery's Sauvignon Blanc (and the price is reasonable). Dry River is another Martinborough winery that also produces some outstanding white wines, though I do not believe they open their doors to wine tastings or visitations.

Remember, Marlborough, on the northernmost tip of the South Island, which is the vast, most famed wine region of NZ, is only a ferry or jet ride away from Wellington. On our first trip to NZ many many years ago we spent about a week on the North Island, but we took a day trip to the South Island just to visit Cloudy Bay Winery in Marlborough. It was a fun day and it was one of the highlights of our trip. We also had lunch at Hunters Wines in Marlborough. The ferry ride was gorgeous. The drive out to Cloudy Bay was easy (we rented a car on the other side as soon as we arrived). If you love food and wine, maybe this would be worth doing.
http://www.winehawkesbay.co.nz/
http://www.villamaria.co.nz/
http://www.kumeuinfo.co.nz/
http://www.waihekewine.co.nz/
http://www.winesfrommartinborough.com/
http://www.wine-marlborough.co.nz/wineries.htm
http://www.gisbornewine.co.nz/gisborne-wineries/
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Old Dec 28th, 2011, 11:51 PM
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I knew I could count on you guys. And yes, I always pay back by doing T/R's.

Thanks again.
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Old Dec 30th, 2011, 03:39 PM
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Yes Martinborough is great for stumbling between wineries on foot!

I stayed at Oak House, a B&B owned by a winemaker

http://www.burings.co.nz/index.html

Ata Rangi, Martinborough Vineyard, Haythornthwaite were my three favorites.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2012, 09:26 PM
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Decided on Mission Winery at Hawkes Bay. Had lunch there today and it was superb, I won't go on BUT the summer pudding was Devine. Made with Brioche and oodles of berries, blueberries , strawberries and my favourite raspberries !!!!!

A beautiful setting And the nicest weather we've had all week!
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Old Jan 3rd, 2012, 09:32 PM
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You're making me hungry aussiedreamer. I look forward to hearing more about your trip when you get back.
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Old Jan 5th, 2012, 12:45 AM
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Good choice. Sounds like you are having a lovely time.
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Old Jan 7th, 2012, 02:14 PM
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Thanks to you both, we did have a great week. Will start on my TR today, although we didn't 'do' a lot we had a really nice relaxing week.
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