Hawke's Bay is a very well known winegrowing region on New Zealand's North Island. It is the oldest wine region in New Zealand, as well as the second largest and with a climate similar to that of Bordeaux, is producing some spectacular red wines including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. However, due to the varying terroir and climate across the region, there are a wide variety of wines produced, including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, to name just a few.
With around 70 wineries in the region, there are some amazing cellar door experiences to be had, as well as some fantastic cellar door dining options and we have had fabulous meals at Craggy Range, Elephant Hill and Black Barn Vineyards.
We found the picturesque town of Havelock North provided an excellent base to explore the region and there are even a few cellar doors within walking distance of town, as well as a number of other well regarded dining options. We enjoyed each of the places we dined at in town including Maina, Mamacita & Starlake Thai.
The region is also home to some spectacular mountain and beach scenery, which can be explored via the many fantastic bike and walking trails, and we can highly recommend the 22km Cape Kidnappers walk, where, at the right time of year you can see up to 25,000 Gannets close-up, well worth the effort (just ensure you check the tide times before you depart!).
We have thoroughly enjoyed our visit to this region on both occasions and it is definitely one we look forward to getting back to and exploring further in the future.
The region has a great map that can be found at most of the cellar doors, as well as the visitors centre. If you would like to look at it prior to arrival, please see this link