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Hawke's Bay
The Growing Region

New Zealand’s second largest wine region, Hawke’s Bay produces internationally acclaimed red and white wines. The diverse soils create equally diverse varietals, including the region’s flagship full-bodied Chardonnays, as well as distinctive Bordeaux-style blends, exceptional aromatics to name but a few.


Hawke’s Bay’s warm, sunny climate, gentle sea breezes and long growing season combine to create an exceptional wine-growing region. With temperature ranges similar to Burgundy and Bordeaux, this East Coast region’s maritime breezes temper the long, hot summer days and create a longer growing season than most regions. The surrounding high country protects the vine-clad plains and rolling hills, ensuring this region is an abundant source of wine, fruit, vegetables and other artisan produce.


Situated on the temperate East Coast of the North Island, Hawke’s Bay is a popular tourist destination, not least for its many vineyards. The area’s first vines were planted back in 1851 at the historic Mission Winery in Napier. Since then, the wine industry has blossomed to include numerous wineries and vineyards, ranging from large multi-regional producers to tiny, boutique, family-owned producers. The Hawke’s Bay features is renowned for its wine tourism culture and offers a wide variety of cellar door experiences, as well as regular food and wine festivals.

Grape Varietals

Chardonnay is the region’s flagship white wine. Intense, complex and fruit-driven, Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay tends to be full-bodied, almost opulent yet balanced. Sauvignon Blanc is rich, tropical and fruit-laden with surprisingly complexity, while Pinot Gris varietals are ripe, spicy and bold. Originally known for its red blends including Merlot and Malbec blends, the region is fast gaining a reputation for its distinctive Syrah and Pinot Noir. The unique climate also lends itself to excellent aromatics and dessert wines, with more exciting varieties being planted every year.


Hawke’s Bay boasts wide extremes in soil types, which (as you can imagine) results in an equally diverse range of wine styles. The region around Pa Bridge features ancient, alluvial soils, as do the densely planted, wine-growing plains, while soils range from sandy loams over clay pans in Havelock to loamy clays around Hastings. The renowned Gimblett Gravels area is influenced by its distinctive arid, stony soils, while the surrounding hill country is clay and limestone based.