When you need to wine-down and take some time out, then you don’t need to go to the Bordeaux, or the Napa Valley… the newest of the official Great Wine Capitals is a little closer to home.  Earlier this year, Hawke’s Bay was named the 12th Great Wine Capital of the World, joining the likes of Adelaide, Cape Town and Verona as one of the regions that produces the very best that the world has on offer.  

In true New Zealand style, this humble region has been quietly producing exceptional wines and earning its place among the world’s elite wine destinations and completely deserves this accolade on the world stage. 

One of the most remarkable aspects of Hawke’s Bay is its diverse terroir. This region boasts a unique microclimate created by the sheltering effect of the Kaweka and Ruahine Ranges, combined with the temperate influence of the Pacific Ocean. This climatic diversity allows Hawke’s Bay to grow a wide range of grape varieties, from classic Bordeaux grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to Chardonnay, Syrah, and even Viognier. 

 The Bordeaux Connection 

Hawke’s Bay has often been likened to Bordeaux due to its ability to produce Bordeaux-style wines of exceptional quality. Some areas in the region bear a striking resemblance to the gravelly soil found in Bordeaux, making it ideal for producing world-class red wines. In fact, Hawke’s Bay is renowned for its rich, full-bodied reds, which have garnered international acclaim. 

Syrah Sensation 

While Bordeaux-style blends have made Hawke’s Bay famous, the region has another trick up its sleeve: Syrah. The Syrah wines produced here are nothing short of sensational. They exhibit a unique New Zealand twist, with bright, expressive fruit flavours and a peppery, spicy character. Hawke’s Bay Syrah has earned a place on the world stage, often receiving top awards and accolades. 

Chardonnay Excellence 

Chardonnay lovers will find themselves in heaven in Hawke’s Bay. The region’s Chardonnays are elegant, balanced, and characterized by vibrant acidity. Winemakers in Hawke’s Bay have mastered the art of crafting Chardonnays that strike the perfect harmony between fruitiness and complexity, often with subtle notes of citrus, melon, and a touch of oak. 

Sustainability and Innovation 

Hawke’s Bay winemakers are committed to sustainable practices, respecting the land and the environment. Many vineyards in the region are certified organic or use sustainable farming methods. This dedication to eco-friendly viticulture not only benefits the environment but also adds depth and character to the wines. 

A Culinary Paradise 

Hawke’s Bay isn’t just about wine; it’s also a culinary paradise. The region’s fertile soil and favourable climate produce a bounty of fresh produce, making it a food lover’s dream. You can pair your wine tasting experience with farm-to-table dining at some of the finest restaurants, where local ingredients shine in every dish. 

Visiting Hawke’s Bay 

Visiting Hawke’s Bay is an unforgettable experience. You can explore the numerous wineries, take scenic bike rides through the vineyards, or even embark on a river cruise to see the region from a different perspective. The warm hospitality of the locals adds to the charm of this burgeoning wine region. 

Hawke’s Bay has emerged as a true contender among the world’s great wine regions… so whether you’re a seasoned wine connoisseur or simply looking for a new and exciting wine adventure, Hawke’s Bay is sure to delight your palate and leave you with lasting memories of its remarkable wines and breathtaking scenery.