We don’t know about you guys, but wine is one of our fave things. Hard day at work? Wine. Catch-ups with the homies? Wine. Summer? Wine. Warm weather and a cold glass of vino goes down a treat and, to help you enjoy those two things together, we’ve done the hard yards (it was really just the worst) and hopped our way around Auckland’s best vineyards.
Whether you’re wanting a wine-drinking day on an island or a sit down lunch experience, here are the best wineries in and around Auckland. Bottom’s up!
If you have a soft spot for epic views, scrumptious food and beautiful wine then Cable Bay is your kinda place. Hop on a ferry (or grab the helicopter, darling) and head across to Waiheke for a day that will stay ingrained in that mind of yours for a very long time. Cable Bay’s lawn is an unbeatable pozzy to enjoy sharing plates and a glass or five of their vino, or take refuge from the sun in the verandah, where you’ll be able to feast on ceviche, wood-fired pizzas and sliders. Mmm.
Many a time, we’ve been en route to the airport and been tempted to miss our flight for an hour or two at the stunning Villa Maria. Their Vineyard Café has a delightful terrace overlooking one of their vineyards, making it the perfect spot to enjoy a leisurely lunch or nibble on a platter. On the food front, there’s confit pork belly (om nom nom), pan fried scallops and Southland lamb rack, plus a whopping selection of wines from their Auckland, Nelson, Gisbourne, Hawkes Bay, Marlborough and Waipara vineyards.
Artisan Winery And Restaurant
Wave goodbye to the bustling city and reeelax at Oratia’s gorg Artisan Winery and Restaurant. The rural atmosphere is a winner and you can’t beat their Vietnamese platter (banh mi, prawn spring rolls, rare beef salad and sesame coleslaw) with a chilled glass of their vino. If you’re not sure about this whole wine thing, spend some time in their cellar door where you’ll be treated to a tasting and given a wee wine-education.
Ascension Wine Estate
Just a short cruise from A-town and you’ll find yourself at the breath-taking Ascension Wine Estate. Sip on their range of lovingly crafted wines and get amongst their Italian-inspired menu. Do as the Italians do and share crispy calamari, cured meats, fresh pasta and gourmet pizzas. Pro tip: It would be rude not to save room from the tiramisu—it’s a winner.
Soljans Estate Winery
Known as the gateway to Kumeu wine country, Soljans is ideal for peeps looking for an afternoon of wine tasting and nibbles to match. They’re open everyday and run winery tours six days a week (with Sunday being the exception), so we suggest you head along to learn about the viticulture magic they use to create their award-winning bevvies.
Mudbrick Vineyard & Restaurant
Another Waiheke gem, Mudbrick Vineyard & Restaurant knows a thing or two about putting on a quality arvo of drinking, eating and good times. They cater to everything from weddings to degustations to casual dining, and you can even nab a room in their luxe accommodation if you can’t bring yourself to leave. If you’re doing a self-guided Waiheke wine tour, be sure to pop in at the cellar door for a tasting and gourmet platters—it is bliss.
Summertime and this Warworth winery are just meant to be. Brick Bay’s four-hectare vineyard slopes down towards the lake, where the sun-drenched Glass House sits. There’s all-day dining so you can fuel up on delicious sammies, fresh salads and lip-smackingly good sharing plates. While you’re there, feast your eyes on the Brick Bay Sculpture Trail, an ever-changing exhibition of sculptures by some of New Zealand’s best artists.
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Image credit: Cable Bay