Where to sleep in a vineyard

New Zealand’s many vineyards are some of the most beautiful places to stay.

The pool and exterior of the accommodation at Craggy Range, Hawke's Bay.
Craggy Range accommodation, Hawke's Bay

With plenty of time to sit, sip and dwell, wine has provided inspiration for many for their next getaway. Many of us have dreamt of far-away places, as well as those closer to home - our thoughts sparked by a label, image or name.

If you’ve ever wondered where Te Awanga is, whether it’s possible to cycle the Awatere Valley with your family, or what it would be like to wake up in a remote vineyard in Central Otago – now could be the time to find out.

Vineyards are most often set in the most picturesque landscapes with the best climate and a natural playground with masses of things to do - and New Zealand is no exception.  You’ll find picture postcard wineries tucked away in lush valleys, along dramatic coastlines and draped amongst the rolling hills of New Zealand’s 10 major wine regions.  And did you know that no vineyard in New Zealand is more than 120km or 80 miles from the ocean?

With such diverse landscapes in a compact and easily navigable country, staying at a winery is an attractive proposition for anyone wanting to explore New Zealand where you’ll meet some interesting locals who have established the country’s world famous reputation for wine growing.

And you don’t have to be a wine buff or connoisseur to get the best out of the experience. While there’s obvious appeal for a romantic getaway or a food and wine themed holiday, vine stays can also be a great option for families keen to explore the natural environment and enjoy onsite facilities for sport and recreation.

Choose from quaint cottages tucked amongst the vines, private luxury homes with sweeping sea views, glass houses under the stars or find the perfect place to park your campervan.

 

Where to stay amongst the vines in New Zealand’s key wine producing regions:

Northland

The exterior of the residences at The Landing, Bay of Islands.
The Landing Residences, Bay of Islands

New Zealand’s sub-tropical north is a popular tourist destination and renowned maritime playground and while it might not seem the obvious choice for vineyard accommodation it’s worth further investigation. Several wineries offer attractive places to stay from luxury lodge retreats to more modest options for lower budgets.

Vineyard Villa is one of four exclusive luxury residences at The Landing, a small vineyard located on the tip of the Purerua Peninsula with stunning views over the Bay of Islands.  First planted in 2007 The Landing’s vineyard stretches across 23 acres of some of the best grape-growing land in Northland and produces award-winning, sustainable wines.

Half an hour’s drive away at Ake Ake Winery near Keri Keri, customers with motorhomes can stay overnight in the winery carpark free of charge if they’ve bought wine at the cellar door or are dining in the restaurant. A great option for travellers keen to enjoy this popular organic wine without having to worry about drinking and driving.

Auckland

The interior of the accommodation at Mudbrick, Waiheke Island.
Mudbrick accommodation, Waiheke Island

Looking to stay at a winery in the Auckland region? It’s hard to surpass Waiheke Island – New Zealand’s ‘island of wine’ – less than a 40 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland.  Waiheke is the largest island in the Hauraki Gulf and a refreshing mix of a wealthy ‘Hamptons-style’ living’ with laid-back Kiwi beach culture. World acclaimed wineries producing award-winning Syrah, Chardonnay, Cabernet blends and fine aromatics are a key attraction and visitors can join a wine tour, rent a scooter, or hop on the bus to discover vineyards dotted across the island for themselves.

Favourites like Cable Bay, Kennedy Point, Frenchmans Hill and Mudbrick have a range of accommodation fitting most budgets. And as well as on-site chalets and lodges at wineries there are scores of holiday homes for rent on the island which means you’re never far from a quality glass of wine or memorable meal.

Waikato

Vilagrad Winery, established in 1922 by Ivan Milicich Snr, is now in its fifth generation as a family owned and operated winery at Ohaupo south of Hamilton. As well as wine tours, tastings at the cellar door and legendary Sunday lunches, visitors can also stay at Vilagrad House nestled in the vines. Choose an individual suite or hire the whole house.

Gisborne

Not only is Gisborne one of the country’s most exciting and entrepreneurial regions in terms of developing new varieties and vineyard sites,  but it’s also the first place in the world to see the sun each day. Matawhero Retreat at Matawhero Vineyard and cellar door, a 10 minute drive south of Gisborne City, is the perfect spot to watch the sunrise as you wake up amongst the vines. The retreat has expansive views across the area and is close to the beach and other family-friendly activities in the region.

Hawke's Bay

The fire place and interior of accommodation at Black Barn, Hawke's Bay.
Black Barn accommodation, Hawke's Bay

The North Island’s premium wine region of Hawke’s Bay has nine main wineries where you can stay on site, all within easy reach of main tourist attractions. As well as a mecca for food and wine – there are more than 70 wineries in the region - Hawke’s Bay is a popular holiday spot for outdoor activities like cycling and golf. Domestic and international travellers, especially Australians, also come to see Napier’s art deco architecture and to visit the famous Cape Kidnappers gannet colony, enjoy local beaches and attend the many festivals that celebrate the region’s bountiful harvest.

Amongst the most recently opened winery accommodation is Craggy Range Vineyard’s luxury lodges and cottages which have won several accolades for their contribution to tourism. The boutique accommodation sits amongst the vines and gardens at Craggy Range under the escarpment of Te Mata Peak. Like other local wineries including Black Barn, Elephant Hill, Mission Estate and Clearview, the accommodation complements the wineries’ popular restaurants and cellar doors making an enticing getaway package.

Wairarapa

Head south on the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail and your next port of call is Martinborough in the Wairarapa. There are more than 20 wineries around this charming colonial style settlement and most are within cycling or walking distance of the village square.

Some of New Zealand’s best pinot noir comes from the town’s boutique vineyards and the close proximity to Wellington (an hour’s drive) makes Martinborough easily accessible for weekend breaks or as a base to explore the Wairarapa on holiday. Vineyard stays are the perfect way to fully immerse yourself in this region with options like the Winemaker’s loft in a converted 100 year old barn above Porters Winery. You can also stay in the Porter Homestead, Iona, which is one of Martinborough’s original houses and a grand villa with expansive grounds that include the 10 acre vineyard.

Margrain Vineyard, a family owned boutique winery specialising in Pinot Noir, has 14 stylish villas and a luxury ‘Pinot Suite’ nestled amongst the vines with panoramic views of the Tararua Ranges. The Winemakers Cottage in the heart of Blue Rock vineyard on Luna Estate is also an ideal rural retreat for a romantic vine stay and The Shearer's Quarters within StoneCutter Vineyard provides a genuine taste of life amongst the vines and wines of Martinborough.

Marlborough

From the luxury bed and breakfast accommodation at Bell Tower on Dog Point with spectacular views over Marlborough’s Richmond Range and Wairau Plain, to the charming vineyard cottage on the Hans Herzog Estate beside the Wairau river, Marlborough’s wineries are a blend of unique and picturesque. Sitting amongst the Sauvignon Blanc vines you’ll find Walnut Block Cottages overlooking the 100-year-old walnut tree that gives this winery its name. And at Vicarage Lane Wines John Kennard and Satu Lappalainen have renovated part of their winery shed to create Vau Vineyard Cottage so visitors can experience vineyard living and share the beautiful views that attracted them to the property near Blenheim.

Billed as the “ultimate retreat in New Zealand’s gourmet province” Marlborough Lodge is a grand country estate on 16 acres of secluded parkland in the heart of Marlborough wine country. What better place to indulge in the gourmet delights and world-renowned wine that earnt the property Luxury Travel Guide's 2016 Culinary Destination of the Year.

Nelson

As holiday destinations go Nelson ticks all the boxes with chart topping sunshine hours, golden sand beaches, vast national parks and some of the best food and wine you’ll find anywhere in the world. Whether you’re here to hike, bike, check out the aquaculture or art scene, visiting a vineyard has to be high on the agenda. Several boutique wineries have accommodation and many, like Kina Beach Vineyard enjoy stunning views across Nelson’s dramatic coast. Two vineyard cottages at Kina are open to guests – Stan’s Cottage in the heart of the vineyard and The Old Schoolhouse originally built in the 1930s as Redwood Valley Schoolhouse and given a new lease of life when it was moved onto Kina Beach Vineyard in 1999.

Marama Vineyard on the Milcrest Estate has two aptly named guest rooms – the Sauvignon Blanc Suite and Pinor Noir Suite. Guests are invited to sample selected wines as they relax in bean bags amongst the vines.

Pine Hill Lodge & Pine Hill Serenity Vineyard is also well on theme with three luxurious bed and breakfast rooms named Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling. The vineyard is half-way between Abel Tasman National Park and Nelson city and guests are encouraged to relax in the outdoor hot tub while sampling the wines of the region.

Richmond Plains, an organic wine maker and pioneer of New Zealand’s first Certified Organic Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir has an on-site cottage and you can enjoy wine tasting at the cellar door or walk across the vineyard to the Grape Escape Cafe & Gallery. And at Ruby Bay Vineyard, a five-minute drive from Mapua wharf’s waterfront restaurants, cafes and boutique stores, guests who stay at the vineyard get a free vineyard tour and tasting.

North Canterbury

The exterior of the purepod accommodation at Greystone, North Canterbury.
Greystone Purepod, North Canterbury

With so many world class wineries stretched across North Canterbury and the Waipara Valley, staying at a vineyard delivers on many counts – particularly the great New Zealand experience of being alone in an extraordinarily beautiful place. One of the most spectacular is the PurePod accommodation high above Greystone Vineyard with 360-deg views of the Waipara Valley wine region and Southern Alps. Built totally of glass and yet with pure privacy, this is ultimate luxury where you can sip award-winning wines from the landscape you’re immersed in while stargazing through the glass roof of your luxury pod.

 At Black Estate, B & B accommodation at the opposite end of the vineyard’s cellar door and lunch time restaurant has expansive views across the gardens and vineyard to the Southern Alps.  Next door is the three-bedroom Kumiko’s Guest House and both properties are adjacent to the Waipara Valley Vineyard Trail. E-bikes and mountain bikes are provided for guests.

Blackhouse Wines has a private guest house where bed and breakfast guests are welcome to wander through the 10-acre property and at Dunnolly Estate a north-facing luxury vineyard cottage overlooks the Waipara Valley giving guests breathtaking views.

Lynda and Julian Ball offer hosted accommodation in the House of Ball at their boutique winery, vineyard and olive grove located amongst the rolling downs of Waipara. You can also arrange to join the viticulturists and winemakers for an evening meal accompanied by a selection of House of Ball wine.

Waipara River Estate also provides vine stays at their family-owned, boutique vineyard and farm in the heart of the Waipara Valley. Annie’s Loft and Studio is luxury bed and breakfast accommodation with views across this historic vineyard where vines include the first planted in the valley by pioneer John McCaskey in the early 1980s.

Central Otago

The tourism mecca of Central Otago captivates visitors with a wide range of excellent cellar door facilities and wine-tourism activities – so staying at a vineyard is all part of the experience and there are plenty of options.

Carrick, the integrated organic vineyard, winery, restaurant and cellar door in Bannockburn has a range of accommodation on the estate including Le Chat and Lot 8 – both with extensive views of the Cromwell basin, surrounding vineyards and the Bannockburn Inlet.   

At the historic Gibbston Valley winery a luxury lodge and spa rank amongst Queenstown’s newest luxury accommodation. There are 24 stylish vineyard villas, an exclusive wine cellar, small movie theatre, private meeting rooms for business travellers, and relaxing communal areas for wining and dining indoors and out – not to mention the luxurious 'vinotherapy' spa treatment.

Kinross in the Gibbston Valley has a cellar door, bistro, and 14 studio cottage rooms perfect for visitors wanting to explore the region.Kinross is the official cellar door for Coal Pit, Domaine Thomson, Hawkshead, Kinross, Valli and Wild Irishman six of Central Otago’s notable wine labels.

Other vineyard accommodation in the area includes Grey Ridge with a secluded Vineyard Suite and Orchard Studio available to guests. The highlight is star- gazing on Grey Ridge where the night skies are unpolluted by smog and light.

Hawkdun Rise, a small vineyard a short distance from the townships of Alexandra & Clyde, claims to be the first vineyard stay in the region. Guest accommodation overlooks the vines with panoramic views of the distant Hawkdun Ranges from which the winery takes its name.

At Judge Rock, known for its award-winning pinot noir wines, a newly renovated cottage offers bed and breakfast accommodation set amongst the vineyard’s attractive gardens and is ideal for people using the Central Otago Rail Trail.

And in the Alexandra Basin Weaver Estate Wines is a 4ha family owned & run vineyard with two vineyard cottages - 'Leaning Rock Cottage' & 'Old Man Cottage' – well set up to experience vineyard stays.

For more information about New Zealand wine...

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