Don't miss these wine hotspots in Auckland
With beautiful vineyards and cool wine bars, oenophiles should add New Zealand's largest city and its surrounds to their must-visit list.
- March 2019
Whether you simply want to end a day of sightseeing in Auckland with a glass of well-earned vino or you’re a connoisseur keen to spend an entire day touring the region’s vineyards, these are the places to get a taste of New Zealand.
Cable Bay Vineyards
Where better to spend a sunny day than on an island off Auckland? Waiheke Island is a 40-minute ferry ride from the downtown terminal and Cable Bay Vineyards is an easy 15-minute walk further. The vineyard offers a cellar door, dining room and verandah but the best option is to have your wine and cheese platter picnic-style on the lawn, where you get sweeping views of the Hauraki Gulf and Auckland’s skyline.
Man O’ War
The setting on the eastern side of Waiheke Island makes Man O’ War a bit more difficult to get to but its stunning surrounds makes it well worth the trek. Come for a tasting at the cellar door, located just inland from the beach, and leave room in your luggage for a few bottles – their beautifully labelled wines make for perfect souvenirs.
There’s plenty to tempt you to drive an hour north of the CBD to Brick Bay – and the selection of wines from their own vineyard is just one reason. Lunch at the on-site restaurant, located inside a stunning glasshouse in the middle of the property, will have you digging into fresh, local produce (they keep beehives for honey and press oil from their own olives), while sipping on wines from a tasting paddle. When you’re full, work it off by wandering along the sculpture trail. The loop takes about an hour and leads through some of Auckland’s stunning native bush and past more than 50 sculptures.
Located at the northern end of Ponsonby Road, Annabel’s bills itself as a neighbourhood wine bar but oozes so much European style, it could have been plucked from a street in Paris, Tuscany or Seville. The cosy hideout is warm and chic, pours a selection of unusual wines and serves up charcuterie plates and cheese boards. Pop in for an afternoon break or stop by on your way to dinner.
When you’re in the mood for an arty atmosphere, Freida Margolis is your spot. This intimate wine bar sits on the corner of Grey Lynn’s main road, a 10-minute drive from the CBD, and is the perfect place to park up on a weeknight for some live music and conversation. There’s a small menu with sliders and a cheese board and the wine list is big enough to keep you interested but not to overwhelm – think sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and pinot noir from around New Zealand, alongside imported shiraz bordeaux and champagne.