One of the last weeks I had in New Zealand was spent in the beautiful Hawkes Bay in the North Island of New Zealand with my sister and her husband.
The Hawkes Bay is famous for its vineyards so we went to Napier with the intention of visiting as many vineyards as possible over our three days there. Luckily there are plenty of bike tracks that link some of the vineyards so we were able to cycle and drink wine in the sunshine.
Mission wines are a huge brand in New Zealand so I was super excited to visit their vineyard to sample some of their finest wines.
We arrived on a beautiful sunny Friday afternoon and after a short stroll around the grounds we got stuck into the wine tasting at their cellar door.
Quantity: 8 wines
Extras: Free wine glass
It’s worth mentioning that the lady who did our wine tasting was our favourite of the whole weekend. She was friendly, took the time to get to know us, shared her experiences about the wine and made the whole process really fun. She wasn’t dashing back and forth and just pouring the wine and disappearing which was noticeable at other vineyards.
Check out their website for more info: Mission Estate
Te Awa vineyard was the first stop on our bicycle tour of the vineyards the following day. Another sunny day in the Hawkes Bay began at this beautiful spot. As it was early on a Saturday morning it wasn’t too busy. We chose to do a tasting straight away, we had a woman who wasn’t too interested in chatting to us about the wine too much but luckily for us our taster changed half way through and we got a much more enthusiastic guy who shared his passion for wine with us.
Extras: Free tasting with purchase
When it came to buying a bottle of wine it became a little tricky though as we weren’t allowed to drink a bottle purchased after the tasting and drink it in their beautiful grounds. Instead we had to spend three times more on a bottle to be able to drink it in the grounds. We opted for a take away bottle to drink at a later date.
Check out their website: Te Awa Collection
This was one of my favourite vineyards in the Hawkes Bay and we had a fantastic time here. Situated just across the road from Te Awa is a warehouse looking structure that is the home of Trinity Hill wines. We were the only ones there for the tasting at that time which again meant our taster gave us her undivided attention.
Quantity: 8 wines
Extras: No fee for tasting & craft beer
We bought a bottle of their sauvignon blanc and headed out into the sunshine to enjoy it. Trinity Hill also has a pizza oven and were cooking up some tasty treats for some of the other guests.
Website: Trinity Hill
Just a short cycle away is the smaller vineyard of Ash Ridge where we stopped for lunch. The house is just a small structure situated within the vines. They sell platters of food to go with the wine tasting which is exactly what we needed at our third stop for the day.
Our tasting was done outside at one of their picnic tables followed by a platter of cheese, breads and meats which we devoured.
We then opted to buy one of their bottles of Rose and drank it sat on bean bags in their grounds. Although the vineyard was small it was quaint and we spent a lovely afternoon there.
Check out their website here: Ash Ridge Wines
All in all it was a super fun day spent with Dan, my sister and my brother in law. Hawkes Bay and Napier is a beautiful region of New Zealand and there are so many wonderful wineries dotted all over the region and we only scratched the surface. I can’t wait to head back to the Hawkes Bay and sample some more of New Zealand’s finest wines. Here is a map of all of the wineries you can visit in the area.
We were lucky enough to borrow bikes from my sisters friends who live in the area but you can rent bikes from various bike companies. Some do self guided and guided tours, here are some of the local companies.