There's never been a better time to choose a favourite region and visit a winery or two. 

After three top vintages (2019, 2020 and 2021), the shelves are groaning with delicious bottles. You can try before you buy and benefit from quantity discounts if they have them. 

Plan ahead. Opening hours can vary and at some wineries, you may need to book. To get the best out of them, don’t visit too many – two or three a day at most. 

This list of wineries features a few of my favourites. You'll be in good hands. 

Waiheke Island

Catch the car ferry to Kennedy Point or pick up a rental when you get off the commuter ferry at Matiatia. 

Hawke’s Bay

This is my favourite wine-trail region, and Craggy Range earns first place for top winery restaurant. Put both on your “must do” list.


These wineries are within walking distance of each other (Coney is a stiff walk) – great for cancelling a few calories. 


As NZ's largest grape-growing region, Marlborough has a number of tour companies offering memorable wine-trail experiences to foreign and local visitors, including the Taste Marlborough Wine Tour pictured above.

One fun way to visit local wineries independently is by hiring a bike. Forrest (see below) has all the biking information you will need, then just follow the bike trails through the vineyards.

North Canterbury

All five wineries are in Waipara, which is about an hour’s drive from Christchurch.

Visitors to Central Otago can enjoy a free self-paced 8km wine walk that takes in Misha’s, Wooing Tree and two other highly regarded Cromwell wineries, Aurum and Scott Base, as well as some stunning scenery. (Image: 4 Barrels Walking Wine Trail) 

Central Otago

 Our most beautiful wine region, with wines to match.