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Three major wine producing regions, a capital city, scenic coastlines, and rural towns combine to create the self-drive touring route that is the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail.
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380km (250 miles) of indulgence
Start in Napier and finish in Blenheim or vice versa
Taste your way through Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa, Wellington, and Marlborough – a journey that takes you through regions accounting for more than 80% of New Zealand's wine production. Enjoy stunning scenery, beautiful forest parks, buzzing nightlife and indulgent food experiences.
Hawke’s Bay is the land of robust Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot; in Wairarapa, Pinot Noir gets star billing; Wellington is the coffee, cocktail and craft beer capital; and Marlborough is the blockbuster Sauvignon Blanc country.
While the main focus of the journey is wine and food, the route also serves up all kinds of adventure and cultural experiences. You’ll get the opportunity to encounter unique wildlife, discover historic villages, check out artists’ studios, meet specialist food producers, enjoy live theatre, embark on forest hikes, and brewery tours, fishing trips and much more.
There are over 100 road signs on the main highways of the 380kilometre Wine Trail, guiding visitors through the regions of Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa, and Wellington and across Cook Strait to Marlborough. You won’t get lost on this less travelled and quiet road.
With 230 wineries along this touring route you’ll have the opportunity to taste and shop at more than 100 cellar doors and dine at plenty of vineyard restaurants and cafés. The people you’ll meet have an intense passion for wine, matched by an immense knowledge of how it’s made. There’s every chance that the winemaker will be the person pouring your tasting and bringing your Wine Trail experience to life.
Take it slow
Never rush good food and great wine - allow four to six days for this journey
Great wine deserves great food. There's one thing we know for sure - you won't go hungry along the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail. Look out for orchards to ‘pick your own’ stone fruit, berries and apples; don’t miss the weekend Farmer’s Markets for a chance to meet with food producers; and in Wellington, plan on living late and eating lots in the culinary capital.
To tempt your tastebuds, here’s five food and wine matches made in heaven: