Our Varietals

While most wine regions hang their hat on one or sometimes two varieties, Hawke’s Bay’s large and unique terroir and range of microclimates has led to outstanding quality of wine in half a dozen key varietals.

We are New Zealand’s second largest wine region with the largest production of premium Bordeaux style red wine in the country but also have a more than 2,000ha of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc vines, many of them accredited sustainable producers.


As well as our diversity, Hawke’s Bay wines are renowned for full-bodied Red Blends, elegant Syrah and rich, complex Chardonnays.

Merlot, 975ha

Bordeaux style blends are highly successful, producing wines of great power, elegance and longevity. Merlot is increasingly the higher percentage in blends, offering rich, plummy depths.

Chardonnay, 1,060ha

Wines are full-bodied, lengthy, almost opulent but with finely-tuned acidity balancing the richness.

Sauvignon Blanc, 1,011ha

Rich, tree fruit-laden wines, underpinned by bright acidity, they often see a degree of oak fermentation or maturation.

Pinot Gris, 676ha

Aromatic, spicy, bold ripe wines with balanced acidity and good body.

Syrah, 343ha

Wines are perfumed, elegant with ripe fruit, supple tannins and lingering spice.

Pinot Noir, 223ha

Varietal aromatics of cherry, berry fruits, plum, florals and spice, through to more savoury and earthy examples, all with beautifully soft and supple tannins and great richness of flavour.

Cabernet Sauvignon, 183ha

Impressive structure with classic dark fruit and spice. 

Hawke's Bay Wineries

Although many of the national wine brands are represented in Hawke’s Bay, most wineries produce less than 200,000 litres per annum and are family owned, offering truly boutique wines and an artisan experience.

While exploring our wine trails, tick off cellar door visits to taste top wine you’ve always loved,  but also enjoy the thrill of discovery when you pop into tiny wineries and get to experience the passion and quality that comes from a family-run winery.


The climate and lengthy growing season also allows regular production of successful dessert styles. New varieties are continually trialled.

The numerous wineries and vineyards encompass both large multi-regional entities and tiny family-owned boutique producers; all share a commitment to making great wine.

With its lengthy history and verdant, productive landscape, Hawke’s Bay is home to an outstanding wine tourism culture and offers a wide variety of cellar door experiences as well as regular food and wine festivals.


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