- Discovering the Joys of New Zealand Wine

Northland & Matakana Wine Regions

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Northland and Matakana are variously listed on their own, together, or as part of the Auckland region. In any case, Matakana is located a leisurely two hour drive north of Auckland and Northland is another two hours further. Keep on driving up the Aupouri Peninsula to reach Cape Reinga, the northernmost tip of New Zealand.

The climate of the Northland, like the Auckland area, Waikato, and the Bay of Plenty, is very challenging for the production of quality, vinifera grapes. On one hand, the climate is very warm, giving hope to the prospect of growing Cabernet Sauvignon. On the other hand, moisture is the nemesis; too much rainfall, tropical storms, and humidity which gives rise to rot and fungus. Having a successful crop year after year is the biggest hurdle.

As a wine region, Northland does have one strategic foothold that will help to ensure its future. Northland is a leisure-time destination. Weekend drives and getaways for the Auckland crowd; a visit to the subtropics for those from the South Island and lower North Island; an excursion outside Auckland for foreign visitors. Tourists visiting the local winery to enjoy a warm day sitting on the patio with a bottle of wine will continue to be a successful business model for the Northland producers.

Despite the challenges of the climate, there are several producers striving to make top-rank wines. Ransom Wines, Matakana Estate, and Brick Bay Wines in Matakana, along with Okahu Estate in the Northland, are receiving complimentary reviews, particularly for Pinot Gris.

Here is the list of wineries:

Matakana Wineries

Northland Wineries