Having the new world of Australia next door may seem to overshadow New Zealand’s wine kingdom, but with grapes fit for a king and barrels, barns and innovative wineries popping up everywhere, it seems the rugged island is certainly worth stopping by to crush a cup or two.
Whether you are looking for a weekend getaway laced with fine wines and gourmet dining or whether you want an exclusive honeymoon package filled with open cellar doors, here are five of the very best wineries in New Zealand.
Craggy Range Winery, Hawke’s Bay
The looming shadow of the Te Mata Peak and the shimmering diamond lake ensure that the Craggy Range Winery offers spectacular sights for sitting down with a chilled glass and soaking up the silence and solitude of such a special place. The wines crafted with love and care has set a new benchmark for new world wines, with every bottle glowing with boldness, depth and complex maturity. Pair the perfect glass with glistening fresh oysters for a decadent dinner before returning satiated to your luxury accommodation close by.
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Shady acres of opulent vineyards, sweet breezes rolling down from the mountains and cozy charm can all be found on the doorstep of one of the most prestigious and prize winning wineries in Marlborough. The Richmond Ranges glow as though dusted in gold and this is an idyllic spot for indulging in an al fresco lunch and tasting floral notes and a hint of honeydew with the famous Pinot Noir that is crafted to sheer perfection.
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Villa Maria Winery, Auckland
Nestled in a volcanic crater and with award winning wines at every turn, the Villa Maria Winery captures the very essence of Auckland. From humble beginnings to world recognition, you can experience the magic when you opt for a couples retreat close to the sprawling vineyards. In the summer months live jazz permeates the air with open concerts on the estate and makes for a fabulous place to experience the crisp chilled chardonnays and the charming Arneis.
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Neudorf Vineyard, Nelson
It may be tiny but this estate has sparked a name for itself thanks to its superior Pinot Noir and liquid gold chardonnays. The stunning landscaped gardens and fragrant vineyards seem to stretch on forever and the small deli is the perfect spot for picking up crumbling artisan cheeses and other nibbles to pair with their prestigious wines for a fabulous picnic.
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Rippon Vineyard and Winery, Central Otago
Misty mountains, sparkling lake waters, lush verdant greenery and biodynamic barrels make the Rippon Vineyard a startling success. Nick and Jo are more than happy to give you a fascinating guided tour through their techniques and allow you to taste to your hearts content. Elegant dark berry Pinot Noir and young and citrus fresh Rieslings truly make the grade at this exciting and dynamic little winery making a big splash on the artisan wine world.
Read more about Rippon Vineyard and Winery.