Food & Wine
© Food at Wharepuke
Northland has the distinction of being the historical birthplace of viticulture and winemaking in New Zealand.
Reverend Samuel Marsden planted the first vines at Kerikeri in 1819. The honour of making the first wines however belongs to James Busby, a Scot who arrived at Waitangi in the Bay of Islands in 1832 as the representative of the British Government. Busby (also credited as the “father” of the Australian wine industry) was an advocate for wine established and established a vineyard near the historic Treaty House. Later the Dalmatians came to dig kauri gum throughout Northland bringing their European culture of winemaking with them.
The focus of winemaking moved away from Northland. It was not until the late 1960’s that it was revived. The region is now expanding with vineyards established in the Bay of Islands, Kaitaia, Doubtless Bay and Whangarei.
Tropical chardonnay’s, spicy shiraz, peppery pinotage and vibrant cabernets, typify these exciting new wines, which display ripe fruit characters, garnered from the warmest region in New Zealand.
Expect to be surprised, expect to discover warm, soft, fruity and spicy wines that truly characterise Northland. As well as a range of distilled spirits, grappa liqueurs and Northland’s famous Macadamia Cream Liqueur.
Make sure you try our fine wines and Northland’s regional cuisine, famous for our seafood in abundance, avocados, olives, macadamia nuts, citrus and subtropical fruits.
Our café culture is alive and well too, so enjoy some bottled Northland sunshine with your food. You will find Northland wines in our many restaurants and cafes.
Northland is the country’s newest, fastest growing wine region. It is well worth visiting for its magnificent kauri forests, beautiful beaches, scenic beauty and the historic significance of NZ’s wine making birthplace. No visit to Northland would be complete without visiting the cellar door at all the wineries in Northland, where you are welcome to taste and enjoy.
Here is a comprehensive list of wineries for the Northland Winegrowers Association