Kiwiwineries.com - Discovering the Joys of New Zealand Wine
Bay of Plenty and Waikato Wine Regions
About this site
The Bay of Plenty and Waikato wine regions are fairly small in relation to the more renowned locations of Hawke's Bay and Marlborough. They are located on the North Island to the south and southeast of the Auckland area. The Waikato is inland near the city of Hamilton and the Bay of Plenty, as the name indicates, is along the coast, between the cities of Tauranga and Whakatane. This page could have been titled Waikato but Bay of Plenty has a more enchanting name.
The Waikato is pasture and agricultural country. The wet climate is not favorable for grape production. At the Bay of Plenty, grapes are not even the predominant vine fruit. That honor goes to the Kiwifruit which, in the past few decades, has brought enormous wealth to the region through soaring exports. Driving south from the Bay of Plenty, you enter the forests that fuel the wood and pulp industry and onward to the tourist center of Rotorua with its geysers and hot springs.
The wineries typically have small vineyards in the area but most of the grapes are sourced for other areas like Hawke's Bay and Marlborough. For that reason, the wines are in the character of somewhere else instead of an indigenous style to the region. Rongopai's bortrytised white wines are one noteworthy local effort. A few of wineries are significant for their facilities which draw the crowds driving down from Auckland. De Redcliffe in Waikato features an upscale hotel/restaurant called Hotel du Vin. Mills Reef Winery in Tauranga is a tourist destination for its stylish building and first-class restaurant.
Here is the list of wineries: