Local Time NZ
01:36 am Sat 13 Jul

A short ferry ride from Auckland leads you to the natural beauty of Waiheke Island. Sandy beaches span the coastline, emerald waters lap against craggy rock formations, and olive groves encompass scenic vineyards.

Waiheke Island is the perfect addition to any New Zealand itinerary.

In additon to secluded beaches and beautiful scenery, it’s home to some of our best wineries.

In a similar fashion to what the Hamptons is to New York City, Waiheke Island offers Aucklanders a peaceful escape from the pressures and chaos of metropolitan city life. The island captures the hearts of Aucklanders and International Visitors alike. Described as “the best destination in the world” and “one of the best island destinations”, it’s easy to be happy here.

The Best Wineries on Waiheke Island 

Among an endless number of options, the following are a few Waiheke wineries that really stand out. These are the places to see and experience on Waiheke Island for an authentic New Zealand wine experience.

Tantalus Estate: Award-winning Wines Surrounded By Postcard Views

Tantalus Estate is located in the Onetangi Valley on the Northern part of Waiheke Island, a picturesque, rural haven. Its idyllic views make you wonder whether it was created for taking scenic walks. Surrounded by never-ending olive groves and twisted grapevines, it’s the perfect place to disconnect from the rest of the world and focus on what’s important at the moment; finding your favourites among their selection of fine wines.

A tasting at Tantalus lets you sample both new releases and old favourites. We try the Écluse; Évoque; Voilé and Estate Merlot Cabernet Franc blends. Followed by the 2016 Cachette and 2017 Pinot Gris, two of their most popular bottles. The wines are served with delicious canapés on the side, that complements the flavours just right.

>> You might also want to check out our itinerary for a luxury day trip to Waiheke in the Lifestyle Magazine The Hedonist. 

Destiny Bay: The Fully Sustainable Winery 

Owned by California natives Michael and Anne Spratt, Destiny Bay goes above and beyond to ensure quality in all that they deliver. The couple relocated to New Zealand to open a winery after falling in love with the country on vacation.

The focus is on high-quality wines and methods that leave a minimal impact on the environment, using energy-efficient structures and a combination of traditional methods and new technology. Apart from being a fully accredited Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand® vineyard & winery, Destiny Bay run initiatives aimed at reducing their carbon footprint, such as planting native trees.

Leading wine writers have described Destiny Bay as one of the world’s best producers of Cabernet blends. Their limited batches are often sold to overseas buyers even before they are bottled. Several high profile guests have visited Destiny Bay and fallen for their wines, including Tommy Lee Jones, Eva Longoria, and foreign dignitaries and royalty.

 Man O’War Vineyard: Elegance Combined With An Exciting History

At the more secluded, eastern side of Waiheke, Man O’War Bay awaits. The scenery is more rugged, more mysterious. Sitting beneath the veranda at Man O’War Vineyard, surrounded by pohutukawa trees and overlooking the sprawling white sandy beaches. You are able to glance across the Coromandel coastline to the smaller islands of the Hauraki Gulf.

Named “Man O’War” by British explorer Captain James Cook, who considered the sturdy structures of the pohutukawa trees to be reminiscent of the masts for British Navy Warships, this part of the island has a fascinating history. The Man O’War winery encapsulates it perfectly, through wines that express the land and carry warrior names like Valhalla, Warspite, and Ironclad.

The team harvest by hand to ensure quality and mix classic Old World techniques with innovative New World ideas. The wines are presented in 3 collections founded on their core principles: elegance, balance, and texture.

An embodiment of local history and family values is evident at every turn, from the old pictures and newspaper cuttings on display in the quaint tasting room, to the tales shared by the owners as to how they got their inspiration for the wines.

Stonyridge Winery: New Zealand’s Prime Minister’s Favourite Winery

Stonyridge Winery is the embodiment of the dreams of international wine connoisseur Stephen White. Stephen is a Yogi and healthy living aficionado, who previously travelled the globe, training as a Yogi at World leading Balinese yoga school “Radiantly Alive”, teaching yoga to clients like Richard Branson.

During his time overseas, Stephen developed his winemaking skills under the guidance of leading winemakers and sommeliers in California, France, and Italy. Upon returning to New Zealand, White opened his own vineyard which quickly captured the hearts of wine lovers worldwide and has received countless international acclaims. The Guardian UK referred to it as being one of the “top ten wineries in the world”. Their smooth “Larose” blend was the first equal place winner of the Guide Bottin 2000 Paris award for the “greatest Bordeaux style wines in the World”, and we could go on.

Stonyridge’s wines are served at exclusive Michelin restaurants across the globe. It also prides itself in the fact that New Zealand’s own Prime Minister considers it his favourite wine producer.

Passage Rock Winery: The Most Awarded Waiheke Winery

A relatively new face on the New Zealand wine scene, Passage Rock has emerged to challenge the major players in the industry. Established in 1993, the winery is rapidly building a name for itself centered around the concept of expressive wines reflecting the season in a beautiful place near the sea.

These days Passage Rock produces about 4000 cases of wine.  Every red wine made since 2002 has taken home a medal, and so have many of the whites. Passage Rock’s Forte blend is considered one of Waiheke’s most distinguished reds and their blends are hailed time and again as being among the highest quality, yet best value products in New Zealand.

Kennedy Point: Waiheke island’s Only 100% Certified
Organic Winery (In Combination With Sea Views)

Featuring stunning sea views and nestled among tranquil gardens, and picturesque vineyards, Kennedy Point is Waiheke island’s only 100% certified organic winery. Their products are developed with the highest possible quality in mind, which becomes evident in the flavours.

Not limited to just wine production, Kennedy Point also produces organic olive oils and honey, all of which are available for sampling upon organising a visit to the winery. Surrounded amongst 300-year-old pohutukawa trees, overlooking the picturesque Kennedy Bay, it’s the perfect place to enjoy delicious wine combined with local cheeses, smoked salmon, and oysters.

Customize Your Own Waiheke Island Wine Experience

While these options are among our favourites, there are still many more. Are you thinking about visiting our wine paradise? Get in touch to learn more about the alternatives and how we can customise a Waiheke Wine experience based on your specific preferences.