The Best New Zealand Wineries To Add To Your List In 2023
While New Zealand has always been internationally known for its breathtaking scenery and unique fauna, its diverse wineries have recently come into focus. The country is rich with fertile soil, and the long summers contrasting with the crisp winters make it the perfect climate for growing grape varieties.
From the subtropical summer weather in the North Island to the biting snow of the South, New Zealand is full of enough biodiversity to make wine enthusiasts jump for joy. To find the best wineries in New Zealand, however, we need to get close and personal with the delicious wines of each region.
In This Article
Best Wineries on the North Island:
Auckland & Waiheke Island
Wairarapa & Martinborough
Best Wineries on the South Island:
Central Otago & Wānaka
Best Wineries on the North Island
The North Island of New Zealand is known for its geothermal wonders and white sand beaches. However, this diverse climate has also made the region famous for its unique wines. Specialising in Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, the North Island has plenty of wineries suited for any vineyard connoisseur.
Auckland & Waiheke Island
Just a 5-minute drive from Auckland Airport, this vineyard will tempt you from the moment you set foot on the North Island's soil. Villa Maria takes a sustainable approach when creating their world-class wines, taking care of the earth even as they create wines as iconic as the Ngakirikiri. The vineyard's rich history and strong presence in the New Zealand wine landscape make it a must-see in 2023.
Man O' War Vineyards
Located on the far end of Auckland's Waiheke Island, the Man O' War is memorable for its 18th-century villa architecture, as well as its distinguished wine names. With wines like Dreadnought or Valhalla to choose from, keeping to the North Island's specialties of Chardonnay and Syrah alike, anyone with a fondness for white wines is sure to be spoiled.
Wairarapa & Martinborough
Living up to its name's meaning, Le Grá makes its wines "with love" born from its knowledgeable staff and family ownership. Keeping things bubbly, the winery is best known for its spritz-style sparkling wine called Briomhar, made with Pinot Noir. Despite its young age, the winery has become one of the best wineries in New Zealand due to its offerings of a unique blend like Briomhar and so much more. Explore your wild side and Le Grá restaurant's specialty platters in the comfort of an outdoor deck and fresh air.
Groundbreaking for its re-purposing of local farmlands into vineyards, Palliser Estate is an essential stop in the North Island of New Zealand. Open all year round, their world-class wines have won numerous awards, showing just how special this vineyard's offerings are. Enjoy a wine tasting on its own, or pair it with the delicious food from the adjourning cooking school.
Known as the birthplace of New Zealand's wine, the Mission Estate is the oldest winery in the country, looking the part with its carefully restored historic estate. Offering a wealth of choices, you can take your time wine tasting with friends, or enjoy a glass or two at the accompanying restaurant. The views of the estate and the nature of the Hawke's Bay area are sure to keep you company as you wine and dine your way through the day.
Te Mata Estate
Family-owned since 1896, the Te Mata Estate produces 11 wines made from grape varieties exclusively grown in the Hawke's Bay region. With the country's oldest barrel hall and the gorgeous Havelock Hills located right on the estate, there is more than their award-winning wines to explore. Before you leave, don't forget to taste Te Mata Coleraine, one of New Zealand's most acclaimed red wines.
Best Wineries in the South Island
Down on the South Island of New Zealand, the weather gets colder and the snow falls higher. Even in summer, there's a chill to be had, especially with the Southern Alps stretching down the centre. However, vineyards thrive in this wild climate and rugged landscape, and some of the best wineries in New Zealand can be found in the south.
This vineyard, located in the cooler South Island, keeps things fresh and fun. While there is a wide range of quality wines on offer at Wither Hills, the main draw is its range of Single Vineyard wines. From the simple yet crisp Rarangi Sauvignon Blanc to The Honourable Pinot Noir, this vineyard has plenty of character and nuances on offer. With their wine tasting on offer seven days a week, there's no chance you could miss this real insight into winemaking.
While Marlborough is now known as one of the best regions for winemaking in New Zealand, back in 1985, Cloudy Bay was taking a leap of faith to set up shop. Revered nowadays for its iconic Sauvignon Blanc and comfortable outdoor wine lounge, it's hard to imagine the list of best wineries in New Zealand without adding this demonstration of Marlborough's maritime climate.
Looking over the beauty of Tasman Bay, Kina Cliffs offers wine tasting along with a range of views unique only to the South Island. Spend a great afternoon out on the deck overlooking the bay, or pivot to face Mount Arthur and the rolling vineyards that surround you. Either way, you'll be surrounded by natural beauty as you enjoy their range of specialty Pinot Gris and Noirs.
Tucked away near the gravelly clays of the Moutere Hills, Neudorf Vineyards keeps things down to earth with their range of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and aromatics. Their size may be small, but this vineyard is a must-see, as made clear by their international exporting success. With an intimate wine tasting located at their cellar door, Neudorf is both cosy and classy for lovers of wine.
Central Otago & Wānaka
Relying on the natural integrity of the Pisa mountain range around it, Amisfield Estate lets its vineyards go wild with success. The result is one of New Zealand's purest wineries, particularly their delightful Pinot Noir, which pairs well with the delicious food found at the accompanying restaurant. Take in the taste of fine wine and the mountains around you on your trip to the South Island.
Drink in the sights of Lake Wānaka and the more temperate air of its surroundings at Rippon Vineyard. Rich in the metamorphic rock of schist, the soil creates an excellent site to grow grape varieties for a range of notable Pinot Noir. While searching for the best wineries in New Zealand, you can't forget the unique wines of Rippon Vineyard.
What is the best time to visit wineries in New Zealand?
The best time to visit wineries in New Zealand is during March and April, which are the harvesting months. You can spot experimental wines popping up around this time, along with your usual favourites.
What is the most famous wine region in New Zealand?
Marlborough is both the largest and most famous wine region in New Zealand. It is best known for its Sauvignon Blanc, but types like Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir are just as popular.
What's the best way to get around New Zealand?
If you are looking to travel around to find the best wineries in New Zealand, driving is the best way. This allows you to explore at your own pace and off the beaten track, reaching even the most remote wineries. With Enterprise Rent-A-Car, you can reserve a vehicle at any location in New Zealand, allowing you to take your time touring the best vineyards on offer. We also offer a one way rental service so that you can pick up and drop off your vehicle at different locations to suit your needs.