New Zealand wine regions - North Island


Today let’s take a look at some of the most important wine regions in the North Island of New Zealand.

Image: Auckland, by Cable Bay Wine Ltd


Aukland took its name from the largest city in this region and is the northernmost and warmest wine producing area of New Zealand. This frost-free region is known for the variety of plantings and good-quality reds such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, as well as fine whites such as Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio. Important wine districts include Waiheke Island, Clevedon and Matakana.

Image: Gisborne, by New Zealand Winegrowers


Gisborne is situated along the easternmost coast of New Zealand, and because of its proximity to the international dateline, it is famous for being the first city in the world to see the sunshine of a new day. This is the most important white wine region in the country, known primarily for its ripe, exceptionally fruity and easy-to-drink Chardonnays. Other noticeable white wines include Gewürztraminer, Viognierand Pinot Grigio.

Image: Hawkes Bay, by Lime Rock Wines

Hawkes Bay

Hawkes Bay is the oldest and one of the sunniest wine regions in New Zealand. Located on the east coast, Hawkes Bay has very diverse soil patterns, hence various wine styles.

The best reds produced in Hawkes Bay, however, are mostly blends of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, with a small amount of Cabernet Franc, Malbec or Syrah. Quality Chardonnays are also produced here, with less fruit but more elegance than the Gisborne Chardonnays.

Image: Wairarapa, by Te Kairanga Winery


Wairarapa is situated on the southernmost point of the Northern Island. This region consists of many small-scale productions, with exceptionally quality-conscious winemakers. Pinot Noir is the most widely planted variety producing some of the best New Zealand red wines. The climate of Wairarapa resembles that of Marlborough, thus successful Sauvignon Blancs can also be found here.

All rights reserved by Future plc. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of Decanter.

Only Official Media Partners (see About us) of may republish part of the content from the site without prior permission under strict Terms & Conditions. Contact to learn about how to become an Official Media Partner of