New Zealand Wine Catalogue 2022New Zealand Wine Catalogue 2022
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Hawke's BayHawke's Bay

Hawke's Bay

New Zealand’s second largest wine region, sunny Hawke’s Bay has been an abundant source of fine wine since 1851.

Key statistics


Total Producing Hectares


Proportion of Total NZ Production (Tonnes)


Total Number of Varieties Grown


2,180 hours of average annual sunshine. 1,051 millimeters of average annual rainfall. Very sunny, with heat summations somewhere between Burgundy and Bordeaux, the maritime influence tempers hot summer days and permits a long growing season. The surrounding high country offers wind protection through frost can be a risk in some inland areas. Cooler, wet weather can occasionally pose problems in the growing season but free-draining soils help reduce its impact.
The legacy of four major rivers’ historic meanderings, Hawke’s Bay is a virtual kaleidoscope of soil types, creating significant impact on viticulture and wine styles. The densely planted plains are alluvial over gravely subsoils: Havelock has more sandy loams over clay pans while Hastings is surrounded by loamy clays. Red metals and famously arid, stony Gimblett Gravels are noteworthy features; the surrounding rolling hill country is clay and limestone-based. Bridge Pa contains the oldest soils on the Heretaunga Plains. These are distinct as they consist of low fertile, free draining alluvium deposit or eroded ash, loess and underlying sediments.
Coastal Areas
The two grape growing areas located directly on the coast enjoy the most dramatic effects of the temperate climate and long growing season. The gravelly soils of Bay View in the northern Esk River Valley area and Te Awanga in the South have achieved recognition for premium Chardonnay and early ripening reds, including Pinot Noir.
Increasingly explored for the differences offered in soil and altitude; they are predominately planted in red varieties. Long established around Havelock North, hillsides in the Maraekakaho and Bay View sub-regions produce stellar wines and as vines march inland.
Alluvial Plains
Shaped by rivers and crisscrossed with gravel beds, free-draining alluvial soils and stony terraces, the plains fan out between Havelock and Napier, covering the pioneering vineyards of Taradale and Meeanee plus the Gimblett Gravels and Bridge Pa Triangle area, home to some of the region’s best wines.
River Valleys
Running across Hawke's Bay are four rivers which have over time created a huge diversity of grape growing sites. These sites have provided sheltered environments, with variations in altitude, aspect to the sun and variations in soil type. Fine examples of premium Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir are sourced from the higher altitude sites.
Central Hawke's Bay
Inland at an altitude of up to 300 metres Central Hawke's Bay vineyards are characterised as being cooler areas showing potential for Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir.
Primary varieties
22% Chardonnay, 21% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Merlot, 14% Pinot Gris, 7% Syrah, 5% Pinot noir, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon

About the region

New Zealand’s second largest wine region, sunny Hawke’s Bay
has been an abundant source of fine wine since 1851; its well-established wine tourism trail also showcases the region’s Art Deco architecture (mainly in Napier city) and artisan producers.

Hawke’s Bay’s benign climate and high sunshine have long established the region as ideal for fruit growing. Vines were first planted in 1851 by Marist missionaries (their legacy is Taradale’s historic Mission Winery) and Hawke’s Bay enjoys a significant international reputation for producing some of the country’s best wines, red and white.

A relatively large and diverse region capable of producing a wide range of varieties to a very high standard, Hawke’s Bay is best known for its Red Blends and Chardonnay but aromatic whites are consistently good and Syrah is incredibly impressive. The climate and lengthy growing season also allows regular production of successful dessert styles. New varieties are continually trialled.

The numerous wineries and vineyards encompass both large multi-regional entities and tiny family-owned boutique producers; all share a commitment to making great wine.

With its lengthy history and verdant, productive landscape, Hawke’s Bay is home to an outstanding wine tourism culture and offers a wide variety of cellar door experiences as well as regular food and wine festivals.

Exhibitors with wines from this region

Craggy Range

New Zealand, Hawke's Bay, Havelock North
New Zealand Wine Catalogue 2022New Zealand Wine Catalogue 2022
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