You don’t have to look far from Havelock North’s bustling village for an award wining wine. The terroir of the district, with fertile soils and temperate climate, lends itself to wine making.
In fact, you don’t even have to look outside the village all, because one of Hawke’s Bay’s leading wineries – Smith & Sheth – is tucked away in the Village Courtyard behind Porters Boutique Hotel.
It is here – the winery’s oenothѐque, cellar door and wine lounge – where you will find a collection of great wine experiences in beautifully designed inside and patio spaces. Choose from a selection of samples, wine by the glass accompanied by a light platter, or join a two-hour immersive tasting experience.
Travel towards Tukituki Valley and you will have a choice to make – turn right to Black Barn Vineyards or left for Te Mata Estate. Based on opposite sides of Te Mata Road, these iconic vineyards are beloved by locals and visitors alike.
Te Mata Estate is New Zealand’s oldest winery that still operates on its original site and is renowned worldwide for its famed Coleraine, an assemblage of the finest wines produced from distinct plots within Te Mata Estate’s oldest vineyards on the Havelock Hills.
Black Barn, on the other hand, is comparatively new, with the vineyard celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2023. However, this has been more than enough for Black Barn to establish their place among Hawke’s Bay’s elite wines.
With a focus on small, limited parcels of hand-picked grapes, Black Barn’s limited release wines have built a stellar reputation over the years under the watchful expertise of winemaker Dave McKee.
Black Barn is also the home of a stunning amphitheatre, a summer growers’ market, and the Black Barn Bistro, which is set to reopen this summer. Black Barn also operates more than 15 luxury retreats throughout the region.
Further along the Tukituki Valley is Craggy Range, Australasia’s leading winery and home of New Zealand’s Best Winery Restaurant.
A family-owned winery, Craggy Range was established in 1998 and is situated in the shadow of the spectacular Te Mata Peak.
Here their Cellar Door offers relaxed and intimate seated tastings, while the restaurant serves the best local and seasonal produce prepared by Head Chef Casey McDonald. On-site boutique accommodation offers luxury in the vines, with two-bedroom River Lodges or self-contained Vineyard and Garden Cottages available.
When you reach the Te Awanga Coast you will discover the home of Elephant Hill, a stunning and innovative winery estate that makes the most of the coastal environment.
Established in 2003 with a strong focus on sustainability, Elephant Hill aims to make wine driven by tradition while not losing sight of what innovation can bring to the blend. And while their award-winning wines taste incredible wherever you sip them, it must be noted that the iconic view of Cape Kidnappers from their cellar door certainly adds to the occasion.