- Publish Date: Mar 24, 2009
When people think of New Zealand wines, the first grapes that come to mind are Sauvignon Blanc (from the Marlborough region, in the northern portion of the South Island), and Pinot Noir (most famously from Central Otago, in the center of the South Island, just north of Queenstown).
Next time you’re in a wine shop or fortunate enough to be touring New Zealand, we strongly suggest you include Hawke’s Bay in your tasting or traveling itinerary. Hawke’s Bay is located on the East Coast of the North Island, set in a landscape of rolling green hills reminiscent of Ireland that funnel down to a flat expanse of land near the sea. Hawke’s Bay is punctuated by an appellation known as Gimblett Gravels, known for its “Gravelly-loams,” or soil profile with serious minerality. For this reason, in Hawke’s Bay Bordeaux style wines reign supreme. Also look for wonderfully refined Chardonnay and elegant Syrah.
Among our favorites in the area are Te Awa and Craggy Range: Te Awa, above all, for their delicious Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, and Craggy Range for their Merlot (owned by the American Peabody family, perhaps it’s no surprise that Craggy Range also offers a Napa-esque restaurant situated next to a cliff where, if you time it right, hang gliders will soar above, in true Kiwi fashion.)