Where to drink wine in Wellington
Living between two of New Zealand’s key wine regions, Martinborough and Marlborough, Wellington's will certainly have drop you'll love
91 Puruatanga Road, Martinborough
No visit to Martinborough’s vineyards is complete without a platter and a tasting at Poppies.
Run by husband and wife team: Poppy is the winemaker, while Shayne is the viticulturist, and they’re both passionate about creating an experience for people to enjoy their wine. Poppies’ romantically rustic cellar door and restaurant offers wine tastings or opt for a full glass or bottle of your new favourite Poppies wine accompanied by a simple, but beautiful antipasto platters. Sit inside in the cosy restaurant or outside under the pergola with an unencumbered view of the vines that have produced the wine you’re enjoying.
60 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Low-fi meets luxury at this hideaway bar on the ground floor of a boutique hotel on Ghuznee Street. The interior glows with emerald green velvet, brass fittings and chandeliers in contrast to the exposed concrete walls.
Puffin focuses on organic and minimal intervention wines, alongside a thoughtful menu of charcuterie and cheese, oysters and small plates. They also do a mean classic cocktail and there's beer on tap.
32 Cambridge Road, Martinborough
When heading over to Martinborough for a day of biking around the winery cellar doors, make Cambridge Road, just minutes from the village, your first stop.
Winemaker Lance Redgwell uses biodynamic and eco-farming principles to farming his vines and a minimal intervention approach to wine-making. These are wines that Lance hopes will challenge your taste buds and your perception of wine, while giving you a delicious experience. Cambridge Road is a lovely place to spend a sunny afternoon; enjoy platters of cheese and charcuterie while you sip some natural wine within metres of where it was grown and made.
6 Swan Lane, Te Aro, Wellington
Noble Rot is an award-winning wine bar, founded by a group of local sommeliers and restaurateurs and nestled between two of the country’s great wine regions of Marlborough and Martinborough.
Tucked away down Swan Lane, Noble Rot has a lovely, intimate atmosphere and is the kind of place where one glass of wine can easily turn into two and then into dinner. Speaking of dinner, the award-winning menu is innovative with the kind of ease and simplicity that comes only with great skill. Noble Rot are also known for their attentive and very knowledgeable service.
14 Puruatanga Road, Martinborough
Family-owned Ata Rangi in Martinborough produces some of New Zealand’s leading pinot noir. The wine is overseen by highly respected winemaker Helen Masters who was awarded 2019 New Zealand Winemaker of the Year by judges from Australia’s Gourmet Traveller Wine magazine.
Book in for an intimate tasting experience at Ata Rangi’s original rustic winery, where you’ll delve into what creates the distinctive wines the region is known for and of course, sample some wine. These booking-only tastings are around available year-round.
2/55 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Only in Wellington: a rooftop bar specialising in wine and hotdogs (as well as vegetarian 'notdogs').
Nestled in a cosy art deco space behind an Edwardian parapet, Ascot is a quirky bar that serves an ever-changing lineup of organic and biodynamic wines from New Zealand and overseas.
Ascot has a sunny outside deck which is a lovely place to be on a sunny afternoon or summer’s evening. Not to mention you can people watch everyone walking down Cuba St.
Glass Wine Bar
8 Chews Lane, Wellington
Glass is a wine bar and bistro pouring organic and biodynamic wine by the glass (and bottle) in a window-lined location on Chews Lane.
It’s owned and run by Jonathon Brookes who got the inspiration for Glass from many years working in the best restaurants and wine caves in Paris – he’s also a wine importer, and you’ll find an extensive menu of both New Zealand and French wine available on the chalkboard wall of Glass that is frequently updated. Alongside the wine, Glass serves a simple menu of unpretentious, contemporary bistro style food. The sharing-style menu has an emphasis on locally-sourced and seasonal produce - the roasted potatoes with Soubise (slow-cooked onion sauce) are always a popular choice.
45 Tory Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Le Samourai opens early for coffee, croissants and croque monsieur. As the day continues, Le Samourai comes into its own as a wine and cheese bar.
Serving mostly French and European wine, Le Samourai also pours some specially-chosen New Zealand wines. To pair with your drink, Le Samourai have an assortment of cheese and charcuterie, plus some French-themed cabinet food. Le Samourai is small and cosy with a few tables and a long window seat looking out onto Tory Street that’s perfect for people watching.
1 Martins Road, Martinborough
With a tasting room and outdoor dining space set in amongst the grapevines on the family-owned vineyard, Moy Hall is a not-to-be-missed experience.
Pop-in for a tasting of their handmade wines that reflect the quality of the grapes grown on the family's eight-hectare vineyard in the heart of the Martinborough Terrace. Or if you have time, stay and enjoy lunch and a bottle of wine as you gaze out at the vineyard. Moy Hall have a casual menu of delicious small plates for sharing with feature local lamb, seafood, olive oil, herbs and seasonal salads and which cater for a range of dietary requirements.
96 Kitchener Street, Martinborough
Renowned Wairarapa winery Palliser Estate gambled on turning sheep grazing land on the Martinborough Terrace, into land for farming grapes.
The gamble paid off and Palliser are now one of New Zealand’s premier wineries and their wine is enjoyed around the world. The winery is made up of seven vineyards which each produce a distinctive wine style. Their cellar door is open year-round and pours tastings of their wines – their pinot noir and chardonnay in particular are must-tries. During the spring and summer months, Palliser serves a light food menu and is a lovely place to visit for a glass of wine and a shared platter in their garden followed by a game of pétanque.
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