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Waiheke Island is a haven for many local and international visitors who are looking for a laid-back escape close to the hustle and bustle of Auckland City. It’s a magical little island, only a short 30 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland, where you will find world-class wineries, art tours, vineyards, wine tours and sandy beaches.
Vine growing was introduced in the early 1980’s as a premium wine region for the production of high quality red wines based on Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Over the years, Waiheke Island has expanded its varietals to include Chardonnay, Syrah, Montepulciano, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Semillon and Viognier.
The surrounding sea of the Hauraki Gulf has a strongly influence on Waiheke Island’s climate and grape growing. The ocean acts as both a fan and insulator allowing sea breezes to moderate rising temperatures in mid-summer with the ocean controlling falling temperatures at night.
These moderate temperatures extend longer into the early autumn ripening period of March and April, allowing later varieties to ripen fully over an extended period. Due to the significant variations in vineyard orientation, soil structure and its long mild season, Waiheke Island can grow and ripen a wider range of grape varieties.