May 2015: Signature wine regions of New Zealand

New Zealand is blessed with a variety of regions producing award-winning wines. Signature wine regions include Hawke’s Bay, Martinborough, Marlborough and Central Otago. However no matter where your clients’ travel in New Zealand, a cellar door is never far away – with Auckland’s Waiheke Island, Gisborne and Canterbury all being notable first-class wine producing regions as well.

Rippon Winery & Vineyard, Lake Wanaka. Photo: Fraser Clements
Many wineries and vineyards also have an onsite restaurant or bistro, allowing visitors to sample the region’s delicious seasonal produce.


Maui Winery Havens
Self-drive clients travelling in a Maui campervan (motorhome) can enjoy an incredible overnight wine experience amongst the vines.  Each winery has been hand-picked by Maui to offer the best blend of New Zealand wine and stunning countryside.  Wineries include: Mercury Bay Estate (Coromandel), Linden Estate (Hawke’s Bay), Coney Wines (Martinborough), Carrick Wines (Central Otago), and Forrest Wines (Marlborough).
Packages include one night stay (at a non-powered site), exclusive site location, gourmet hamper for two with bottle of wine, and access to the wineries vintners. 


Welcome to New Zealand’s second largest wine region. Impressively, Hawke’s Bay has been producing fine wine since the first vines were planted in 1851 at Mission Estate Winery. The region is best known for its Bordeaux-blend reds and Chardonnay, but aromatic whites and Syrah are consistently good.
Takaro Trails
Enjoy single and multi-day cycling trips around one of New Zealand’s famous wine regions. Biking on the Hawke’s Bay Trails is gentle and easy-paced, allowing guests to easily fit in four or five cellar door visits in a day. 
Long Island Guides
Enjoy a privately guided and customised tour to visit some of the best wineries in Hawke’s Bay. Meet and talk with the personalities who are passionate about crafting world-class wines from the region’s fertile soil. Half and full day options are available.


Just over an hour’s drive from Wellington, is the boutique wine region of Martinborough. This small wine region punches well above its weight, accounting for only 1% of New Zealand’s total wine production, yet boasting some of the country’s most sought-after producers. Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Syrah and dessert wines are the region’s draw cards.
Martinborough wine tours
Enjoy a guided tour around some of Martinborough’s most popular vineyards, talk with local wine makers and enjoy lunch at a winery restaurant. Many operators can arrange pick up/drop off in Wellington or Wairarapa.
Green Jersey Cycle Tours
Enjoy a unique guided wine tour by rickshaw to three wineries plus an olive grove. Along the way the rickshaw driver/guide will provide interesting commentary about the vineyards, the people and the wine. The tour includes lunch and all wine tasting fees.


Marlborough is the country’s flagship wine region, proudly responsible for putting New Zealand on the international wine stage. The region alone accounts for almost 75% of the country’s total wine production! Marlborough is most well-known for its award-winning Sauvignon Blanc, though its Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and aromatics are also impressively good.  
Brancott Estate Heritage Centre
Learn about the history of Sauvignon Blanc on the ‘Mastery of Marlborough’ tour. The 45 minute tour operates daily at 2pm and includes a tutored wine tasting.
Marlborough winery tour 
Enjoy a guided tour to some of Marlborough’s premier wineries. Sample first-class wines and gourmet food. Half and full day options are available. Transport in a private car or van is included, however some companies also offer cycling tours.
Māori Experiences - Māori Cultural Wine Tour
Combine wine and culture on a unique three hour guided tour. Learn how Māori have woven traditional values and innovative techniques to produce award-winning Tohu Wines, New Zealand’s premier indigenous wine company.
Visit an old pa site and gain an insight into our Polynesian ancestors and their spiritual connection to the land. Sample award-winning wines at the Tohu Wines vineyard and learn about sustainable practices which are based on traditional Māori values. 


Central Otago is famous for producing award-winning Pinot Noir. And what better way to sample this Old World red than amongst breath-taking landscapes of towering snow-capped mountains and sparkling deep rivers - for which the region is also famous for. Queenstown and Wanaka are popular bases to explore the Central Otago region.
Gibbston Valley Winery
Gibbston Valley Winery offers daily wine cave and tasting tours where guests can visit Home Block, the region's oldest vineyard, do a tasting in their wine cave and see their winemakers in action. If your clients’ are after a more exclusive experience, upgrade to one of their private tour options.
Queenstown Wine Trail
The Queenstown Wine Trail offers a fun, personalised and friendly sightseeing wine tour of vineyards and wineries in Queenstown and Central Otago. Clients can choose from a range of group or private tours.
Appellation Central Wine Tours
Small group wine tours are a speciality at Appellation Central Wine Tours. There are a range of tour options to suit all clients, whether they are serious wine connoisseurs or just enjoy a tipple.