- Discovering the Joys of New Zealand Wine

Waiheke Island Wine Region

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Waiheke Island lies in the inner Hauraki Gulf, a 35 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland. The Hauraki Gulf is familiar to sports fans as the locale for the last America's Cup yacht races where the Kiwis easily defended their crown. There are two thriving business communities on the island: arts & crafts and vineyards; both of which draw crowds from the city. The beaches and scenery are also top-rate.

The temperatures on the island are reportedly several degrees warmer than on the nearby main island and for that reason, vintners are looking at Waiheke as an ideal location for red wines. Producing good, consistent Cabernet is a difficult task in most of New Zealand but Waiheke looks to be one of the places where it can be done.

There are around twenty wineries on the island. Many of those are small producers selling from the cellar door. In America, Goldwater Estate is the most widely known producer from Waiheke. Ironically, they are best known for their Sauvignon Blanc from the Dog Point Vineyard in Marlborough. The Cabernet/Merlot can be found with a bit more of a search.

Here is the list of wineries: