New Zealand’s oldest wine region crowned 12th Great Wine Capital of the World

24 May 2023

Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand’s oldest wine region, has joined 11 other global wine heavyweights as the newest Great Wine Capital of the world.

Today, Hawke’s Bay was named a Great Wine Capital of the world, after a stringent selection process that looks at a number of factors including a region’s winegrowing industry, its history, its wine tourism experiences, educational opportunities, business and travel, as well as the cities and the region itself.

In announcing the news, Hawke’s Bay Tourism CEO, Hamish Saxton said the significance of being named a Great Wine Capital of the world is a remarkable milestone for the region.

“Hawke’s Bay’s inclusion as one of just 12 Great Wine Capitals of the world is of regional and national significance. It is recognition that Hawke’s Bay wines are among the world’s best and that our nation’s wine growing industry, while still young, offers quality to rival the world’s oldest.

“This new achievement gives Hawke’s Bay a unique positioning in New Zealand and the world. It is a true legacy for the region and will continue to deliver benefits to industry, education, business and tourism for the years to come,” says Hamish.

The bid was led by Hawke’s Bay Tourism, on behalf of a working group that also included Hawke’s Bay Wine Growers, Hastings District Council, Napier City Council, Hawke’s Bay Airport and EIT/Te Pūkenga, and was supported by New Zealand Winegrowers. 

“Hawke’s Bay being granted the status of a Great Wine Capital is a major achievement and is a testament to the region’s commitment to providing visitors with an unforgettable wine tourism experience that captures the essence of their land, people, and way of life,” says Charlotte Read, General Manager Marketing, New Zealand Winegrowers.

“To join prestigious wine regions such as Bordeaux, Napa Valley, and Adelaide is a proud moment for Hawke's Bay, and an exciting time for New Zealand wine tourism. This achievement is not only a recognition of Hawke’s Bay’s successes, but a catalyst for further growth in wine tourism, putting Hawke's Bay, and New Zealand, firmly on the world stage as a must-visit destination for wine lovers.”

Vines were first planted in Hawke’s Bay in 1851 by Marist missionaries and is best known for their Red Blends and Chardonnay, as well as aromatic whites and impressive Syrah. With more than 200 vineyards, 125 wine producers and more than 30 cellar doors, the region offers a plethora of ways to experience the highly accoladed wines of the region, from well-developed cycle trails to architecture and wine tours in classic cars.

The diversity in wine is also matched by the diversity in landscape, as the region’s wineries and tasting rooms are scattered throughout plains, mountain peaks, valleys, and coastal cliffs. Whether it is the allure of long vineyard lunches, bike tours between cellar doors or a chance to stock up your wine collection, Hawke’s Bay is a destination wine lovers cannot miss, and becoming part of the Great Wine Capital Global Network, recognises this.


- ENDS -

Editor Notes:

  • New Zealand wine is exported to more than 100 countries and is New Zealand’s sixth largest export good
  • New Zealand wine exports for 2022 were $1.95 billion
  • Hawke’s Bay produces 8% of New Zealand’s total production (40,000 tonnes)


What is the Great Wine Capitals Global Network?

Great Wine Capitals is a global network of the world’s 12 greatest wine regions. Established in Bordeaux in 1999, the Great Wine Capital Global Network has shared an important mission: to sustain the health and prosperity of wine-related industries, communities and tourism in their Capitals through collaborating on a wide range of projects in industry, tourism, education, business and travel.

Other cities/regions that are part of the Great Wine Capital network - Adelaide, South Australia (Australia), Bilbao, Rioja (Spain), Bordeaux (France), Cape Town, Cape Winelands (South Africa), Lausanne (Switzerland), Mainz, Rheinhessen, (Germany), Mendoza (Argentina), Porto (Portugal), San Francisco, Napa Valley (USA), Valparaiso, Casablanca Valley (Chile), and Verona (Italy).

For more information about the Great Wine Capitals Global Network, visit


For further information contact:

Juliana Foster - Global PR Manager New Zealand Winegrowers -

To contact Hawke’s Bay Tourism:

Jessica Wiggins - Media & Public Relations Manager Hawke’s Bay Tourism -

Images available here:

News & Media
Press release
Back to top