Vineyards

Waiheke has a number of highly successful vineyards, many of which have won major international awards. The island is most noted for its red, Bordeaux-style wine, although some Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc varieties are also considered to be good. Many of the vineyards also have cafes/restaurants attached, so if wine isn’t your thing they still make great places for eating out whilst taking in spectacular vineyard/valley/sea views. Don’t forget too that if you want to sample a few vineyards in one foul swoop, and without the hassle of driving, then we recommend Waiheke Island Wine Tours (see below for all the detail):

Passage Rock Wines, 438 Orapiu Road, Ph: 372 7257 http://www.passagerockwines.co.nz/

This boutique winery is set in Te Matuku Valley and also has a cafe (set amongst the vines) which serves, amongst other things, beautiful wood-fired pizzas. We love it because it is moderately priced relative to the other vineyards listed below and because it’s owned and run by really nice people (David and Veronika Evans-Gander). We recommend going for lunch (if eating there, you usually can have a free taste of some of their amazing wines whilst waiting to be seated) and if it’s sunny, sit outside amongst the vines if you can get a table. It gets pretty busy during summer, so best to make a reservation, especially as it’s a longer drive from the house (approx 20 minutes drive).

Man O’ War Vineyards, RDl Ph: 303 9677 www.manowarvineyards.co.nz The Point Discount Card Icon-small

Make no mistake, it is quite a journey in the car (approx 30-40 minutes) to the Eastern End of Waiheke Island to this beautiful vineyard but it is definitely a trip worth making. Firstly, the drive will uncover the most amazing sea, farmland and vineyard scenery (so different to west/central Waiheke) via a loop road. Secondly, when you get there you will find a beautifully-set quaint tasting room sitting virtually on the pebbled beach front at Man O’ War Bay surrounded by Pohutukawa trees. You can relax on the verandah, or enjoy the sun at the bench tables on the lawn. It offers something totally different to the other vineyards on the Island and the wines themselves are truly superb. So, our advice: take a nice leisurely drive out there taking in all the scenery and stopping along the way (e.g. at the Nikau Art Gallery www.thenikau.co.nz ). Tastings are free, and the tasting room is open 7 days a week from 11 am to 6pm in Summer and 11am – 4pm in Winter.

Te Motu Vineyard, 76 Onetangi Road, Ph: 372 6884 www.temotu.co.nz

A 10 minute walk up their ‘rustic’ driveway will reveal the most beautiful setting – a  natural amphitheatre/valley attributed with producing some of NZ’s finest red wines (right next to Stonyridge Vineyard – see below). This family-owned vineyard has a restaurant (“The Shed”), a cellar door (for buying wines to takeaway) and “The Terrace” (where you can do wine tastings and have lite bites) all with beautiful views over the valley. Call +64 372 6884 to enquire about current opening hours, tastings and restaurant bookings.

Wild on Waiheke, 82 Onetangi Road, Ph: 09 372 3434 wildonwaiheke.co.nz

Wild On Waiheke is a vineyard with a difference! It’s a unique, boutique, multi-activity venue providing a diverse range of fun outdoor activities (including archery and laser claybird shooting), licensed café and brewery, set within the magic of a Waiheke vineyard. It’s great for groups, families or couples – as you can just sit back and sip on their lovely wines, sample their boutique beers OR get more active by getting stuck into one of their many fun activities.

Cable Bay Vineyard, 12 Nick Johnstone Drive, Oneroa, Ph: 372 5889 www.cablebayvineyards.co.nz

This is one of the newer vineyards on the island and its modern, architecturally designed winery and restaurant is an interesting contrast to the other more traditional vineyards on the island. It is set amidst vineyards and olive groves and has stunning rural and sea views looking towards Auckland City. Eating at the restaurant is expensive. So, if you would like a more moderately priced option, we would suggest sipping one of their internationally acclaimed wines and having a few nibbles/a platter whilst taking in the amazing views. As it’s near the house, it’s also a great pre-dinner spot to visit.

Mudbrick Vineyard, Church Bay Rd, Oneroa, Ph: 372 9050 www.mudbrick.co.nz

Named after the beautiful barn/house which was built from mud bricks, this is probably one of the best known vineyards on the Island and its mudbrick restaurant is award winning. As with Cable Bay, the prices are steep. We also find it great for a late morning coffee in their pretty gardens whilst enjoying the sensational views of the beautiful Hauraki Gulf.

Stonyridge Vineyard, 80 Onetangi Rd, Onetangi, Ph: 372 8822 www.stonyridge.com The Point Discount Card

This is one of the oldest vineyards on the Island and perhaps the first to put Waiheke on the map in terms of internationally award-winning, top quality wine. Stonyridge’s café/restaurant is set amongst the vineyard (much like Passage Rock) and serves fantastic but pricey food in a beautiful setting, similar in style to what you might expect in France some say.

Bach Winery, 129 Carsons Road, Ph: 372 3223, www.batchwinery.com/

This vineyard houses a state of the art winery located on what appears to be one of the highest points on the Island. From here you get amazing views of everything that we love about Waiheke … other vineyards, beaches, sea, farm land, villages and much more. It’s a view that is hard to beat. ‘Thomas’s Bach’ offers a fusion of casual kiwi food and English vintage style – the Kiwi high tea with bubbles is a good example of that. Given the style of food, and the views (which must be appreciated in day light) we recommend this more as a day time/lunch trip. And when there’s no wind to speak of get yourself there!

Obsidian Wines, Te Makiri Road, Onetangi, Ph: 372 6100, www.obsidian.co.nz The Point Discount Card Icon

Tucked away in an amphitheatre setting amongst the vines, Obsidian offers tastings in a relaxed and friendly environment. The cellar door is situated next to a wetland area and vines. Al fresco tastings are often held under the pergola.

Their  passionate and knowledgeable cellar door staff will take you through the range of Obsidian and Weeping Sands wines. Often on weekends and over the Christmas holiday period one of the proprietors of the vineyard, Lindsay and Janet Spilman or Alan Wiltshire will be on hand to share their insights and passion about Obsidian wines.

Other Vineyards: In addition to the vineyards above, there are plenty more on the island which offer great opportunities for tasting amazing wines (some of which are free) e.g. Goldies as a closer option (www.goldieroom.co.nz 18 Causeway Road, ph: 372 7493).

Vineyard tours – Waiheke Island Wine Tours, Ph: Jean: (09) 372 2140 or (027) 431 2163 (mob), www.waihekeislandwinetours.co.nz  Click here to reveal an exclusive Point on Burrell guest discount!

When you’re limited for time but spoilt for choice, what better way to find out why Waiheke is so famous for its wines? Your will enjoy a scenic tour with full commentary and  visit three of the island’s top vineyards to taste at least 14 excellent wines. Don’t take our word for it – check out their superb reviews on Trip Advisor. Tours run daily all year round so contact Jean to arrange for your discount and get ready for a fun and informative day out!.

For other organised wine tours, you can find information at the Fullers office at the Matiatia wharf, the Isite Visitor Office (118 Ocean View Road Ph: 372 1234) in Oneroa Village or visit http://waiheke.aucklandnz.com/things-to-do/tours.html

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