Back in the 1930s and ’40s, Croatian immigrants settled in West Auckland. Taking refuge from the depression that ravaged Europe. Many of these new arrivals brought the secrets of wine and vine with them, founding vineyards and orchards. With the ambition to rival the vintners of the Hawkes Bay region, Auckland’s vineyards flourished and a few of New Zealand’s largest wineries were born.
Auckland is comprised of 5 sub-regions; Waiheke Island, Kumeu, Clevedon, Henderson and Matakana laying claim to 2% of NZ’s wine production. While the sub-regions differ wildly and are very distinctive, they experience a similar climate with a maritime weather environment, benefiting from warm, primarily frost-free conditions. The region undergoes fairly high rainfall, occasionally drawing issues in the spring and summer months as vineyards are typically established on soils such as clay, mixed alluvial, volcanic or greywacke that retain water and drains slowly.
Out of the 80’s an array of small boutique vineyards under private ownership blossomed, raising the sale price of the region’s wine and firmly establishing Auckland on the wine map. While a variety of styles are grown here, it‘s the Chardonnay and Bordeaux style wines that flourish.