Stuff's Top Nine Cellar Doors in Hawke's Bay

With over 30 cellar doors and more than 70 wineries, Hawke’s Bay is a dream destination for wine lovers. Best known for its chardonnay and syrah, the region is the oldest winemaking region in New Zealand and produces some of the country’s finest drops in a range of varieties.

Each winery has a unique history and story of its own – and there are many to choose from. Hop on a bike or find a driver and sample the goods from these outstanding cellar doors with knowledgeable hosts and beautiful settings to start you off – then take a bottle (or a few) home to enjoy at your leisure.

Elephant Hill

A stylish cellar door with nautical accents, Elephant Hill has a beautiful coastal setting complete with decorative infinity pool, ocean views and endless vines to look out to. Choose the front deck, tasting room or the sunken lounge and sample the wines while looking out to the cliffs of Cape Kidnappers. You can also just pop in for a glass of wine if you don’t want to do the full tasting. Bookings preferred.

Flagship: Hieronymus (blended red), Salomé chardonnay


Elephant Hill Winery, Haumoana

Clearview Estate

If you’d like to learn more on how to refine your palate, Clearview Estate offers a private tutored wine tasting experience. Located in the Te Awanga subregion, this coastal winery is a family-owned and operated business. The cellar door is modest with a rustic feel but packs a big punch when it comes to the intensity of the fruit flavours in each drop. Family-friendly and wheelchair accessible.

Flagship: Clearview Estate Reserve Chardonnay


Clearview Estate, Te Awanga

Craggy Range

Situated under the region’s famous landmark Te Mata Peak, Craggy Range has tasting packages available to suit all from those who just want to sample a few drops to the connoisseurs who wish to learn the history of Craggy Range and its winemaking philosophy. Sip on a tipple (or several) for an intimate but relaxed seated tasting. Wheelchair accessible.

Flagship: Le Sol (syrah), Sophia (merlot blend)


Craggy Range Cellar Door, photograph by Brooke Sabin

Trinity Hill

Trinity Hill is in the heart of the Gimblett Gravels area, the unique stony gravel wine-growing region that makes many of Hawke’s Bay wines famous. The cellar door is a classy and warm setting with views to their white barrel hall through a glass window, where you can see winemakers in action. There’s seating outdoors with an expansive lawn for those lovely sunny days. Choose a self-guided tasting or a guided tasting with Trinity’s wine experts. Family-friendly and wheelchair accessible.

Flagship: Homage (syrah)


Trinity Hill Cellar Door, photograph supplied

Church Road

One of the oldest wineries in New Zealand, Church Road oozes sophistication and elegance with beautiful grounds big enough to host live music events. There are several tasting options, but you can also opt for premium experiences with behind-the-scenes winery tours, or the full TOM experience, a tour based on Church Road’s flagship range that is only produced in outstanding vintages, named after pioneering winemaker Tom McDonald. Family and dog friendly, and wheelchair accessible.

Flagship: TOM (chardonnay, syrah, merlot cabernet sauvignon)


Church Road Winery and Cellar Door, photograph supplied

Te Awanga Estate

With expansive views across the vines and out to the coastline, Te Awanga Estate is a beautiful spot to enjoy nature, alongside quality wines. Enjoy their grazing menus or famous pizza to go with your wine tasting in a relaxed, sunny setting outdoors, that will make you feel like you’re relaxing at the bach. Find a spot on the deck or take a picnic rug down the lawn to enjoy the afternoon. Children welcome, wheelchair friendly, and you can bring your pooch too. Bookings preferred.

Flagship: Trademark chardonnay, syrah


Te Awanga Winery. photograph by Kirsten Simcox

Te Mata Estate

Named after the magnificent ridgeline, Te Mata Estate was gifted this name by Ngāti Kahungunu. The winery was established in 1896, making it a unique winemaking heritage site. Today, it produces around 40,000 cases a year of premium wine. Guests can sample six of the current release wines, add a winery tour to the tasting, or choose a special VIP private vineyard and winery tour with seated tasting. No bookings required.

Flagship: Coleraine (cabernet merlot blend)


Te Mata Estate, photograph supplied

Mission Estate Winery

Established by French missionaries in 1851 to make communion wine, Mission Estate has a rich winemaking history. Many traditional winemaking techniques have been handed down from their early French pioneers and are still used today. Enjoy the tastings in this restored seminary building with beautiful views of Napier and soak up the French heritage. Bookings recommended.

Flagship: Huchet (syrah, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay)


Mission Estate Winery, photograph by Kirsten Simcox

Black Barn Vineyards

This boutique winery just outside of Havelock North produces premium wines that are limited release. There are tasting options for small groups as well as those who want a private in-depth experience. Groups of up to 20 can choose the private courtyard or under the fig trees for their tasting. Visit on a Saturday during summer and enjoy the growers’ market on site in the heart of the vineyard.

Flagship: Black Barn Vineyards SV Cabernet Franc, BF Chardon (chardonnay)


Black Barn Winery, photograph by Kirsten Simcox



Words & images by
Juliette Sivertsen

Published by
Stuff Travel
November 2021




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