If you are a wine lover, then you have heard of Waiheke Island? This beautiful island has all kinds of sites to explore. If you love the outdoors, there are trails that take you along cliff tops, beaches, forests, and underground tunnels. But if you came for the wine, The Waiheke Island Vineyards will not disappoint!
Waiheke is home to some of the best red wines in the world. These wines include Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. There are about 30 wineries on the island, and if you are so inclined and have the time, hitting every one of them would make a great trip. Below you will find 11 vineyards on Waiheke Island to get you started
1. Cable Bay Vineyards
Cable Bay Vineyard makes wines from Merlot, Malbec, Chardonnay, Marsanne, and Pinot Gris variety grapes. Their grapes are grown on the island and in Marlborough. This vineyard offers wine tasting, dining, and a tour and tasting. It all depends on what you have to do. The tasting lasts about 20 to 30 minutes and allows you to try 4 of their current releases. If you like some of the wines you have tasted, you can buy take away bottles. You can also have lunch in one of their restaurants.
2. Stonyridge Vineyard
Stonyridge Vineyard was established in 1981 and specializes in Bordeaux wines. They planted their first trees in 1982. They really became popular after their Larose was released into the world. They offer tastings in their tasting lounge and have a cafe if you want more of a meal with your wine. Larose is a Cabernet blend named after the rose.
Established in 1993, this vineyard is known for its ambiance. Their tastings have a relaxed feel to them and are usually held under their pergola. They are well known for a wine blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec.
This vineyard grows mainly Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon grape varieties. They have limited distribution because they produce smaller amounts of wine. They have a tasting room where you can not only taste their different organic wines, but they also have grazing platters.
This vineyard has a more Mediterranean feel. It has a beautiful atmosphere and offers wine and food. They grow both red and white varieties of grapes. Their white varieties consist of Pinot Gris, Albarino, and Viognier. And their red varieties consist of Merlot, Cabernet, and Malbec. If you want something to eat with your wine, the vineyard also offers tapas-style dining centered around Spanish and Mediterranean style cuisine. They also have Spanish wines and Brandies you can try if you’ve had enough wine or want to taste something different.
If you love Cabernet, the Destiny Bay Vineyard is for you. This vineyard specializes in Cabernet. Their Cabernet blends are rated among the top blends in the world. But they don’t produce a lot of it.
7. Kennedy Point Vineyard
If you like Bordeaux and Syrah, this vineyard is for you as they are Kennedy Point’s specialty. This vineyard was established in 1996 and rests on the southwest side of Waiheke. It is also the only vineyard that has been certified organic. They have tasting plates that are paired with the right wines to intensify your experience. This vineyard also has olive, honey, and avocado oil tastings.
This vineyard offers tours and tastings. During the tour, you are taken around the vineyard by a Cellar Master and shown the gardens and vines. You are given a glass of wine to drink during the tour and can choose to stay when the tour is over or buy a bottle to take home. There is also a restaurant, so if you want to stay and try some more wine or maybe have lunch, you can eat in the bistro cafe.
9. Passage Rock Vineyard
If you want to try a bunch of different wines, then this vineyard is for you. Passage Rock Vineyard was established in 1993 and rests on the east side of the island. Where some other vineyards only allow you to try their latest wines or a select few, Kennedy Point has their entire list of wines available. The Cellar staff will help you pick out the wines that best fit your taste. If you also want some to snack on with your samples, the Cellar staff can help you curate a platter that will work best with your samples. They offer fresh oysters, smoked salmon, and cheese. There is also a bistro on the grounds if you want something a little heartier.
10. Peacock Sky
Located in the center of the island, Peacock Sky has a cozy feel to it. There are many options depending on your taste, budget, and how much time your want to spend there. Peacock Sky offers canapes with their wine samples. The food is curated to enhance the different notes in the wine. They are supposed to complement each other. Also, if you don’t speak English, you can still go to Peacock Sky. They have staff that can help you in English, Swedish, Portuguese and Swedish.
11. Tantalus Estate
Tantalus Estate rests in the middle of Waiheke wine country that produces Bordeaux and Rhone red wines. The estate includes vineyards, a winery, and a restaurant. The restaurant is seasonal with locally sourced produce. If you are not a wine drinker and beer is more your speed, Tantalus Estate has you covered. They also have a brewery on site. So if you want to drink some handcrafted beer while enjoying the scenery, Tantalus is for you. They have both an indoor and outdoor area, so if you want to look at the vines or their brewery while you sip they got you covered.
Waiheke is the perfect tourist attraction for wine lovers. While there are some beautiful beaches and trails for you to visit and experience, the vineyards will have you falling in love with the island. You get to experience the culture of Waiheke through taste, and that is the best way to learn about a place.