How to Experience New Zealand Wine Harvest Season in Auckland
Auckland is near many award-winning wineries and boutique winemakers in the North Island. One of the most popular stops is Waiheke Island on the Hauraki Gulf, but there are plenty of other destinations including the Kumeu wine region. Here's what you need to know about how best to experience New Zealand wine harvest season.
When to Go
As seasons in the Southern Hemisphere run opposite to those in the north, wine grape harvesting typically takes place between February and April. The harvest itself lasts only a few months, but Auckland's temperate climate means it's well-suited for wine tasting year-round. Wine tours within the city can take up an afternoon, but day trips to the nearby wine country—including Matua Valley, Henderson Valley, Matakana, and Muriwai—are ideal.
How to Go
Tours often cater to small groups and include premium tastings at several boutique wineries such as Mudbrick on Waiheke. Travel to the island of Waiheke, distinguished by spectacular harbor views and gourmet food pairings, by ferry or seaplane. Wine estates dot the west coast enclave of Muriwai near its namesake beach, while Matakana is a coastal getaway north of Auckland. Varietals such as pinot gris, gewürztraminer, and pinot noir are popular mainstays at the Kumeu River Winery. In addition to sipping vintages during a guided tour, you’ll benefit from local knowledge about wine production.
Things to Know
- Most wine regions around Auckland are located within easy reach, from 12–45 miles (20–70 kilometers) away.
- Guided tours typically provide round-trip hotel transport, allowing you to consume alcohol safely and without the worry of navigating city or highway traffic.
- Select tours include lunch or a gourmet platter sourced from artisan food producers.
- Depending on the winery you choose, you may taste pinot gris, gewürztraminer, pinot noir, syrah, chardonnay, rose, sauvignon blanc, riesling, and malbec on a tour.
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