Baby, it’s cold outside but if you think we’re going to give up our beloved vino, think again. While trips to vineyards and wineries might be considered a summer thing, there are a handful of wineries that are even more beautiful during the chilly months—and you’ve gotta check them out.
Round-up your vino-lovin’ crew, lock in a sober D and make your way to these wineries not too far from Auckland. Wine and roadies—what could be better?
Mudbrick understands that wine wants to be drunk all year long so they don’t shut their doors for winter. This stunning Waiheke vineyard caters to a range of experiences from winter weddings and degustation dining to vineyard tours and wine tastings— stay in their lux accommodation if the idea of going home afterwards is too much to bear. Grab a spot by the outdoor stone fireplace with a glass of Syrah or wander around the gardens before having lunch at their beautiful bistro. We’re guessing—you won’t want to leave.
Ascension Wine Estate
Just a 40-minute drive from Auckland, you’ll find yourself at the breath-taking Ascension Wine Estate. Open from 10am to 11pm on winter weekends, there’s a range of lovingly crafted wines to try and Italian cuisine to feast on. Rainy days can be spent in front of the fireplace tucking into epicurean platters, gnocchi, crispy lamb belly and pizza. Be sure to save a corner for their crème caramel and a cheeky dessert wine.
Soljans Estate Winery
Dubbed the gateway to Kumeu Wine Country, Soljans is ideal for peeps looking for wine tastings (they even have mulled wine!) and a platter. They’re open everyday, but don’t run winery tours on Sunday, so we suggest you head there on Saturday to learn about the viticultural methods and techniques used to produce their award-winning vino. We’ve also heard good things about the oriental spiced duck from their café.
Passage Rock Winery
Established in 1993 and as Waiheke’s most awarded winery, Passage Rock knows what’s up when it comes to a top-notch wine. Their cellar door and bistro is open seven days from 11am to 4pm for you to soak up the sun and enjoy some delicious fare surrounded by vines. Passage Rock is all about sharing—think duck liver pate, flash fried calamari and braised beef cheeks alongside deeelish wood fired pizzas—so gather your foodie friends and get amongst, stat.
This Warkworth winery and olive grove is a must-visit in summer but also has your winter winery fix covered. Brick Bay’s four-hectare vineyard slopes down towards lake where the stunning, sun-drenched Glass House offers all-day dining. Pop by for hearty salads, shared platters, sticky date pudding and of course, a taste of their current releases and spiced mulled wine. That’s weekend dining done right.
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Image credit: Mudbrick