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As one of New Zealand’s oldest established wine regions, Hawke’s Bay hasn’t let growing competition diminish its respected standing. With an abundance of sunshine, countless wineries and vineyards and a diverse landscape, the reputation of this part of the country is well entrenched. Centred predominantly on the cities of Napier and Hastings, Hawke’s Bay’s wine region is a non-negotiable stop on any wine-lover’s journey.
While the red varieties take the top spots here, Hawke’s Bay’s rich chardonnays are also outstanding. With a climate likened to that of Bordeaux, France, the region is regarded as New Zealand’s leading producer of late-ripening merlot and cabernet-style varieties. Hawke’s Bay is also one of the leaders in the country for its syrah while early-ripening pinot noir and, on a lesser scale semillon, are also produced.
So, what’s the best way to sample these offerings? On your bike, of course! Trade in your four wheels for two and join your friends for a cycle tour like no other. Winery bike tours are a fun and safe way to sample Hawke’s Bay’s finest wines – with an added bonus of exercise and sightseeing along the way.
A great place to start your tasting journey is the New Zealand Wine Centre. This is the complete wine-tasting experience, where you’ll experience a simulated scenic flight over the region and take a virtual tour of its wineries, complete with tastings, of course.
Sampling the fine wine wouldn’t be complete without a taste of the region’s exceptional culinary treats. Local produce can be sampled at the wide variety of restaurants and cafés in the area, or at a vibrant farmers’ market.
That said, it’s not only palatable treats that the Hawke’s Bay has to offer – artistic talents, impressive architecture and beautiful landscapes all cement Hawke’s Bay’s reputation as a fabulous holiday destination.