WellingtonEat & Drink
A bartender stands behind the bar pouring two glasses of wine at Puffin, a chic winebar in Te Aro, Wellington.
  • Location

    60 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Wellington

  • Website


Puffin prides itself on organic, biodynamic and minimal intervention wines. Owner Hannah Wells says the wine list by the glass changes weekly. This is because there are so many wines out there that deserve drinking. “We want to bring people wines they may not have tasted before, wines that come from some amazingly thoughtful winemakers from New Zealand and the rest of the world.”

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Brushed concrete floors, emerald green velvet booths, brass fittings and chandeliers are all part of the package at Puffin. The hidden Ghuznee Street watering hole exudes personality. Taxidermied animals perch on shelves around the bar, and yes, there’s even a puffin. Despite the glamour, it’s a comfortable space for a casual drink with friends — and a chance to discover new wines. 

House cocktails grace the menu, including negroni, martini, and an amaretto sour. There’s a range of New Zealand beers, from Hastings’ Brave Brewing to Warkworth’s 8wired. Wellington’s Parrotdog also makes an appearance. 

For something a little different, there are fortified wines, including Agnese Vermouth and Niepoort Ports, from Portugal. Wash it all down with some small, salty, umami-rich snacks. Puffin provides a selection of locally-sourced cheeses, charcuterie and other small house-made dishes. 

Two wine glasses doing a cheers at Puffin, a wine bar in Te Aro, Wellington.

Puffin’s focus on organic and biodynamic wines harks back to when Hannah worked at a previous bar. She cut her teeth curating short lists of interesting wines that were well received. Visits to wine bars and festivals overseas also inspired her. 

“At the time, these bars had lists that focused on smaller producers, organic and biodynamic practices and small plates of food that went with the wine". The bars were filled with an energy that was all about sharing the love of wine and food with people. Hannah wanted to build a space that supported and celebrated that ethos. 

Puffin was a departure from the usual. “It’s important that we have a balance of things. Wines that are familiar to help people feel comfortable and wines that are different so people can experience something new."