Often referred to as New Zealand’s other red region (Otago being the other) Hawke’s Bay is a significant player known for its award winning wines. From within the various sub-regions of Hawke’s Bay some of the best and most expensive wines are produced. The hot, dry and sunny days combined with cooler nights make for near perfect growing conditions which is ultimately reflected in the quality of the wine.
Of all the players in the region, Mission Estate stands out as a must do visit on any wine lover’s itinerary. Founded in 1851 by pioneering Catholic missionaries, it’s the oldest winery in the country and the birthplace of New Zealand wine. In the early days trainee priests would work in the vineyard and sleep in the tasting room. Fast forward two generations and legendary winemaker, Paul Mooney, has clocked up 40 years of producing some of Hawke’s Bay’s most outstanding wines.
Mission’s cellar door is housed in an elegantly restored seminary building nestled in the Taradale Hills. It’s a pleasant place to spend a few hours tasting or you can wander across to the restaurant for an intimate fine dining experience.