Waiheke wineries: Our Top 5!
So you’re about to take a much-needed vacation to Waiheke Island in New Zealand, ready to relax, kick back, and enjoy some time off. Wine sounds like a good addition, right?
Lucky for you, there are plenty of popular Waiheke wineries to explore if you’re a wine enthusiast or simply want to experience some new flavors in this foreign country.
Waiheke has become renowned for dedicated and award-winning wine growers who have combined the climate, soil, and grape varieties to make countless unique wine flavors.
With close to 30 wineries on the island it would be rude to not visit at least one! With that said, we’ve rounded up our 5 top Waiheke wineries – bottoms up…
1. Poderi Crisci – Awaawaroa
Venture a little off the beaten track and you’ll be well-rewarded with an oasis that one could easily be mistaken for thinking you’d landed in the Tuscan countryside. Be transported to Italy as you indulge in rustic Italian a la carte, or the ever-popular Sunday long lunch (FYI – this takes approximately four and a half hours so buckle up and come with an appetite!) as well as pinot Grigio or perhaps the house-made limoncello (which packs a punch!). Wines are produced and bottled on site and it’s not hard to see why Poderi Crisci is well known for being a must-do on the island, and why you won’t want to leave! We couldn’t agree more with the winery’s motto – ‘there is always plenty more thyme in the garden, and there is always another ferry.’
2. Man O’ War Vineyard – Eastern End
Take the scenic route to the most remote of the waiheke wineries. A 30 minute drive from the ferry terminal will see you arrive at this charming beachfront tasting room (the only one of it’s kind on the island!). It’s all about good vibes at Man O’ War, feel free to wander about the lawn barefoot in true Kiwi style with a glass of wine in hand, perhaps taking a dip in the sea before parking up with a cheese platter and more wine. What could be better?! A truly idyllic oasis that welcomes a very leisurely day of wining and dining. Insider tip – put simply, it would be a CRIME not to try their very own Man O’ War Exiled Pinot Gris. We have a feeling you’ll be compelled to buy a bottle or two for the road after tasting this glorious drop!
Mudbrick is the third choice on this list. This vineyard with two restaurants is located at the western end of the island. They have various wines, with strong reds including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc and whites, such as Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.
Their grapes are sourced from different regions, and once grown, they are handpicked and gently pressed to ensure their signature, quality taste. You can even book a tour to explore the grounds and learn more about their history!
Pair your choice beverage with beautiful scenery overlooking the Hauraki Gulf and eat delicious food inspired by the island. This winery is a definite must-visit for any holidayer!
4. Casita Miro
Casita Miro is another possibility, specializing in Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine. They love sharing their passion for food and wine.
Their dining experience is ideal for those looking for fun, casual, and social time.
The Miro vineyard includes a restaurant and is located close to Onetangi Beach. You can overlook the spectacular grapevines and ocean when visiting. Their wines are intense and flavorful, and you can opt for a wine tasting Monday through Thursday in the afternoon to experience their hand-crafted red and white varieties.
5. Cable Bay
Similarly, Cable Bay’s wines are handmade with quality fruit that create exceptional beverages that continue to evolve, exciting wine lovers around the world. Their varieties include Pinot Gris, Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, and many others that might tempt your palate!
The Bistro restaurant offers fresh dishes, showcasing organic produce from their gardens. The Verandah restaurant ensures an exceptional sea and vineyard view as you dine on the vast Mediterranean-styled menu.
6. Obsidian Vineyard
Obsidian Vineyard, another Waiheke winery, offers tastings that are friendly and relaxed. Their setting is immersive amongst the vines. Their staff will guide you through various wine options, all grown on the Northern Coast of Waiheke. These ideal conditions lead to intensely flavored grapes that make each bottle distinctive and memorable.
For anyone looking for a strictly wine-tasting experience, then Obsidian is right for you, with experts that will show you the ins and outs of creating balanced and vibrant wines that match well with food.
7. Jurassic Ridge
No, you won’t find any dinosaurs in this vineyard, but you might be interested in Jurassic Ridge for its sustainable practices to produce wine. Their goal is to manufacture various wine types through intensive management and low cropping.
Their wine is matured in oak for months before being bottled and aging another few years. They pride themselves on producing natural wines that any wine fanatic, including vegetarians and vegans, can enjoy. They are open for cellar door tastings and offer a membership for those who want to receive unique/limited wines and discounts.
8. Stonyridge Vineyard
Stonyridge is dedicated to producing the finest wine blends via traditional methods and is located in a valley of olive trees and vines. This Waiheke winery enunciates the flavors of France with a romantic and exotic venue. Their vineyards have produced some selections of wine that have been rated the best of the best!
Their cafe is open every day for lunch with small and large plate varieties and desserts. They have a tasting lounge with small snacks, as well as a yoga deck that overlooks the beauty of the island. Additionally, Stonyridge offers private tours and tasting, so there is something to match everyone’s interests.
10. Peacock Sky
This vineyard brings a range of wines, varying from reds to dessert wines and Blanc de Noirs.
Even though their cellar door programs, events, and restaurant have closed due to current events, their 6,500 vines still produce sustainable wine. Peacock Sky is located in the center of Waiheke Island, overlooking the water and sharing some land with a flock of wild peacocks (hence the name).
Many of their products are sold out, but you can still order their wines online to get a sample of their alcohol that makes every dinner more elegant and stunning with flavors that complement various meals. With various certificates of excellence, Peacock Sky still makes a recognizable name for itself in Waiheke Island.
11. Batch Winery
Batch Winery’s process for wine production is state-of-the-art, expressing the uniqueness of the island with various wines whose grapes are picked individually. Their other practices, such as wild fermentation, make their Cabernets, Merlots, and Chardonnays unique, tasty, and vividly colored.
Their complimenting restaurant is relaxed, fresh, and healthy with new flavors and twists, offering seafood, salads, and meat dishes. Each plate is paired with a wine that makes the experience all that more memorable. Additionally, Batch Winery offers menus for specific private events that can accommodate many guests while giving a gorgeous view of the lush lawns.
Regardless of where you’re staying on Waiheke, there are plenty of options for you to explore, whether you’ve been a wine enthusiast for years or want to get your toes wet by experimenting with different flavors.
Every winery on this list has various features designed to fit everyone’s lifestyle, so you can choose the one that you think best suits you, or get a little adventurous and daring with trying something new. If nothing caught your interest, no worries! There are plenty more Waiheke wineries out there to choose from, so do some research on your own to discover which one matches you best.
No matter what winery you decide to check out first, Waiheke Island wineries guarantee that you’ll enjoy the drink, the food, and the scenery with a striking culture and savory meals.