Auckland

Being the largest city in New Zealand housing a population of about 1.5 million, there is always something happening in Auckland’s wine scene. Founded by European immigrants in the nineteenth century, the first vines were planted in 1819 which makes the Auckland district one of New Zealand’s oldest wine regions. Today, it has the third highest number of wine producers in the country with 20% of NZ wine companies based there, but it only contains 4% of the countries vineyards. Located at the northern end of the North Island, Auckland’s landscape is scattered with approximately 50 volcanic cones, lakes and islands that make up the Auckland Volcanic Field. It is thought that the volcanos are extinct, however, some believe they are just dormant. The climate is described as subtropical with strong maritime influences, but even though the days are quite warm, Auckland experiences high rainfall each year. This can create growing challenges and mildew issues for local grape-growers. The Auckland wine region incorporates the sub-regions of Henderson, Huapai, Matakana, Clevedon, Waiheke Island and Kumeu. The soil profile is generally shallow to heavy clay over sandy loams or hard, silty sub-soils. The Auckland wine district is particularly renown for the Cabernet Sauvignon dominant red wines it produces, but excellent Chardonnay is emerging from the region. The wine styles range from full-bodied, concentrated, earthy reds, especially the cultish wines of Waiheke Island, through to intense, Burgundian style Chardonnays with excellent acid structure.