The beautiful Bay of Islands was the cradle of both Maori and European civilization in New Zealand.

The area around Waitangi, was also the birthplace of viticulture. The British Government representative James Busby planted a vineyard near the Treaty House in 1832 and made the first New Zealand wines. Busby went on to establish vineyards in Australia and is honoured there as the ‘Father’ of the Australian wine industry.

Enterprising Croatian settlers set up small-scale vineyards throughout Northland producing fortified wines. The sub-tropical climate is not ideal for growing grapes as it has heavy rainfall, high humidity and warm winters. However, growers have met this challenge, and a resurgence of interest in viticulture in the last decade has seen a raft of rich-flavoured red wines come to light in Northland. Especially promising are the sturdy well-ripened flavours of the Cabernet Sauvignons and Merlots. The warm ripening conditions also suit other varieties and some fine Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs are emerging. The Northland vineyards are located on easy slopes and alluvial flats with a range of soil types from sandy/clay to volcanic. A number of wineries have cellar door sales and tastings.

Bus Pass New Zealand

Expansion of the growing areas is continuing, although Northland still remains the smallest wine region in the country. There are a dozen productive wineries located near Kaitaia, Kaikohe, Kerikeri and Russell, as well as Otaika and Matapouri near Whangarei. The Whangarei visitor centre in Tarewa Park at the town’s southern entrance on S.H.1 will give you directions to the wineries. The staff will also give advice on visiting the magnificent Kauri forests, Hokianga Harbour, Ninety Mile Beach, Cape Reinga and the golden beaches of Doubtless Bay and the Bay of Islands.

This is a place you can explore at a leisurely pace, savouring the vintner’s best offerings, complemented by the region’s fresh fruits and local seafood.

By | 2016-11-26T18:58:49+00:00 November 4th, 2013|Wine Regions|0 Comments

About the Author:

Danny de Hek
Like most people, I have many passions, goals and dreams. As a self made business professional, my focus is helping my clients, associates and friends, build, strengthen and maintain their success. It would be fair to say I am in the full time business of building relationships and feel my purpose and skill is connecting the right people with the right people. My professional work tends to dominate my personal life, to the horror of my partner and business mentor. They both fully support me yet give me the hard truths when I need to hear this. I am always investing in my personal development to have a fulfilled work/life balance. I enjoy Target Shooting, Hiking & Mountain Biking to clear the brain and to take the guilt away when indulging at a quirky cafe for a cooked breakfast or brunch. My passion for travelling has seen me experience the world on many occasions, my next adventure will be doing the Tibet Rail Journey on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway from Lhasa to Golmud as long as they have Wi-Fi aboard ;-) I have many goals I still wish to achieve but am pretty chuffed that I have accomplished so many of these already.

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