Hawke's Bay: New Zealand's Oldest Wine Region

Hawke's Bay, the oldest wine region in New Zealand, is known for its top-quality red wines and chardonnays.  In fact, 30 percent of all chardonnay grapes grown in New Zealand are planted in the Hawke's Bay wine region.

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What sets Hawke's Bay apart is its amazing array of soil types.  Wines from this region are incredibly diverse, thanks to the wide variety of soils and the area's warm maritime climate.

Hawke's Bay History
Hawke's Bay's winegrowing industry dates back to before the establishment of permanent European settlements in the area.  Although Captain James Cook discovered the bay in 1769, it wasn't until 1838 that the Catholic Marist Brothers order sent missionaries to the region. 

They chose a place to settle and then set up a mission station in 1851, on what is now the grounds of the Mission Estate Winery.  That same year, the Marists planted the first vineyard in the Hawke's Bay area.

For more than 25 years, The California Wine Club founders Bruce and Pam Boring have explored all corners of California’s wine country to find award-winning, handcrafted wine to share with the world. Each month, the club features a different small family winery and hand selects two of their best wines for members.

By the early 1920's there were five well-established wineries in Hawke's Bay.  As time went on, vineyards and wine production spread inland from the coastal areas.  Today, you'll find vineyards near the coast, on alluvial plains, in valleys created by flowing rivers and on the slopes of mountains and hills.

You'll also find an array of wineries, ranging from small family-owned boutique wineries to wineries owned by large corporations – Pernod Ricard, for example.  Each offers a glimpse into what has made this wine region special for over 100 years – diverse terroir, combined with a true love of wine.