New Zealand’s burgeoning wine regions are only about 200 years old, yet they are among some of the most successful in the world. With over 700 wineries and 600 grape growers scattered all over the country, New Zealand has become famous: for packing Oceanic sunshine into magnum bottles, growing plump grapes through acres of neatly combed vineyards, and for overturning and liquefying these fruits into ambrosia (to be poured into expectant flute glasses all over the world).
For sommeliers and wine aficionados, a tour around New Zealand wine counties make a fantastic holiday. Bask in the late golden sunshine and sip on a sauvignon blanc in the upcoming autumnal months of March through June. Discover the complex process of what it takes to get from vine to wine on your next vacation.
See also: The Best Low- and No-Alcohol Wines
Known as the “Island of Wine”, Waiheke Island is a mere 40-minute ferry ride from Auckland’s central business district. It boasts of 216 hectares of vineyards and 30 wineries against a backdrop of turquoise seas and emerald mountains. The region is most popular for cabernet sauvignon, merlot, malbec, and chardonnay grape varieties, whose flavours are enhanced by a healthy sea breeze and rich, stony soil. Watch out for the Waiheke Wine & Food Festival in early April for delicious reds alongside local fare.