The Classic New Zealand Wine Trail: Wairarapa
From Hawke’s Bay, head south down The Classic New Zealand Wine Trail on State Highway 2 to the Wairarapa region.
Cape Palliser, Wairarapa
Castle Point, Wairarapa
Castle Point, Wairarapa
A wonderful stop on the way south is at the Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre. Here you can see the world’s only white kiwi in captivity, as well as plenty of native New Zealand wildlife.
Wairarapa boasts some of the country’s most iconic wine producers. It is most noted for its pinot noir, sauvignon blanc and aromatic wines. Martinborough is the most prominent of the Wairarapa regions. It is home to around 30 wineries that are mostly family owned. Most of the wineries are within walking distance from Martinborough’s picturesque colonial town centre. Biking to the wineries is also very popular, and a great way to explore the area. There are some excellent vineyard cafes and restaurants, as well as boutique stores and quality accommodation. The Martinborough Wine Centre is also a great stop if you are short on time, and would like to taste a variety of wines from the region at one place. Greytown, a Victorian country village in the Wairarapa, has a mix of boutique shops, art galleries, antique stores, cafes and restaurants, making it one of New Zealand’s top shopping destinations. Schoc Chocolates is highly recommended for any chocolate lover! Wairarapa celebrates its wine legacy with a variety of festivals, including Toast Martinborough (in November) and Wairarapa Wines Harvest Festival (in March).
Explore the best of local New Zealand wines on the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail.
The Classic New Zealand Wine Trail wine experience spans three of New Zealand’s top wine regions: Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa and Marlborough. Together these regions account for 80% of New Zealand’s wine production, are home to more than 230 wineries and vineyards, and have won multiple awards for their delicious wines.
The Classic New Zealand Wine Trail starts in Hawke’s Bay, where you can enjoy wine from New Zealand’s oldest wine region. The Hawke’s Bay specializes in rich, complex, Chardonnay and full-bodied Bordeaux-blend red wines. With over 70 wineries stretching across Hawke’s Bay, there is no shortage of places to visit. Join a group or private tour and taste wines from some of New Zealand’s most well-known cellar doors.
We also recommend hopping on your bike and finding your way to one of Hawke’s Bay’s fabulous food markets. The Hawke’s Bay Farmer’s Market is open every Sunday of the year and the Black Barn Vineyards Growers’ Market is open Saturday mornings throughout the summer. Choose something delicious for breakfast, a hot beverage to go with it, and something special for your day on the trails to offset the wine tasting later in the day. Hawke’s Bay offers some of New Zealand’s easiest and most delicious cycle trails. With over 200km of cycling, choose from a short ride along the coast or a four-day exploration through back-country roads, or something in between. There are bike companies who will take you on a wide range of guided adventures or just simply rent you a bike and give you a map (and saddlebags of course, to carry all of your purchases along the way).
We highly recommend the following wineries: Church Road Winery, Clearview Estate Winery, Stonecroft, Ash Ridge Wines, Te Mata Estate Winery, Sileni Estates, Trinity Hill Winery Tasting Room, Craggy Range Winery, Black Barn Vineyards, Mission Estate Winery, and Elephant Hill Estate & Winery.