Matakana Weather

Matakana is a very small premium wine region less than one hour's drive north of Auckland.

Almost all the vineyards are on slopes, which helps to drain the clay soils. Traditionally a red wine growing region there are also some outstanding white wines - mainly Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. However the classic red varieties of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec and Sangiovese have shown consistent excellence

The winemakers are a diverse community, approaching the business of making a living from wine in very different ways. Some sell most of the output through their winery/restaurant; others distribute their wine throughout New Zealand and overseas. Many featured here are open to the public and welcome your visit.


- tasting available - by appointment only
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Wineries in our region - click the logo for more information


Wine has been produced in the Matakana GI since at least the mid 1950’s, when Peter Unkovich and his wife Norma planted Siebel, Palomino and Baco 22A at Bay View Vineyard in Snells Beach. They gained a winemaking license in 1961.

The first Vitis vinifera vines were planted in Matakana by Petar and James Vuletic in 1979. They planted Cabernet sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec. They created The Antipodean label and subsequently went their separate ways in the mid to late 1980’s. Providence Vineyard was subsequently developed by James Vuletic and became focussed on a Merlot dominant blend whilst the Cabernet Sauvignon dominated Antipodean label remained with Petar Vuletic until sold in the early 2000’s.

Heron’s flight Vineyard followed in 1988. Ransom Wines followed in 1993, then in rapid succession, Brick Bay, Ascension, Hyperion, and Matakana Estate all followed in the early to mid 90’s. Most vineyards of this era had Bordeaux varietals as their red production – augmented by small patches of Pinot Noir, Pinotage and Syrah. The white production was centred on Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.

Positive reviews for several wines of this era supported the decision to plant these varieties and they have remained flag-bearers for the production of the Matakana GI.

In the late 90s and early 2000s, Heron’s Flight is notable as it removed all French varietals and replanted with Italian. Ransom Wines planted the rare Carmenere. More winegrowers followed (Takatu, Coxhead Creek, Ti Point, Greve, Mahurangi River, OBV, Gillman, Saltings, Matavino, Runner Duck, Hawk’s Nest, Merry Fields, Sculptureum, Contour Estate, Nola to name most) since then. This third wave of producers expanded the varietal field by planting Sangiovese, Dolcetto, Barbera, Nebbiolo, Albarino, Roussanne, Montepulciano, Tannat and Petit Verdot.

This movement saw an increase in plantings of white grape varieties as well as a diversification of red varieties – notably Syrah and the Italian varietals. Nevertheless, this development should be regarded as adding to the existing recognition of the GI’s capacity for producing Cabernet Franc and Merlot-predominant styles.

As of the 2017 vintage, there were more than 65 hectares planted and 21 commercial grape growing/winery operations within the Matakana GI. The majority of vineyards and wineries are family owned businesses, run by a small number of full time staff and generally owner operated.

There are 28 varieties (17 Red and 11 White) planted which makes Matakana one of the most diverse wine regions in New Zealand.


Matakana Oyster & Wine Festival

Another great festival was held in 2018 and you can register for for 2019 at

Feast Matakana

September and October

Highly sucessfull in 2018 Feast Matakana is a series of events for everyone to sample, taste, learn and experience the delicious food and drink produced in the Matakana region.

  • Feast Plates on offer throughout the 3 week period at local restaurants, cafes, bars and anywhere you get great local food. Feast plates feature a local producer or grower’s product in a dish available for the duration of the event, and if possible matched with a local beverage. Please email to register your interest, tell us a bit about your local Matakana business (cafe, restaurant, vineyard, brewery, grower, producer) and we’ll be in contact with more info.

  • 3 lunches with well known New Zealand chefs held in private homes. Tickets for these lunches will go on sale in August. Any producers interested in supporting these lunches can contact for more information.

  • 6 local restaurant dinners featuring local producers / growers and incorporating art (visual, music, performance) – tickets will also go on sale in August.

  • Farmers’ Market events including the release of the Matakana School cookbook and cooking demonstrations.

See for more.


Tour groups are catered for at the following wineries:
Ascension Wine Estate offers a range of tastings and tours, for more information go to
Herons Flight $5-$8pp depending on the wines tasted
Hyperion $8 pp tasting in the barrel room with optional tour of rest of the winery

You can organise your own tour if you wish but all wineries will expect groups of 8 or more to make a booking.

The following operators cater for the Matakana area.

Matakana Tours - Matakana Vineyards.Full and ½ day tours available departing from Auckland, Whangarei and local Matakana Coast Wine Country accommodation.
Accommodation and tour packages available
T: 09 422 2505  E:

Warkworth Taxis can organise taxi, mini-bus, or larger bus tours in the region.
T: 09 425 0000

For tours out of Auckland try:

Auckland Wine Tasting Tours

Auckland Fine Wine Tours

Great Taste Tours

The Hibiscus Experience

While visiting, please remember that the winery is an active business on private property. Often the winery is also the vintner's home and they are literally sharing their back yards with you. Please taste responsibly.

Where to buy wine

Many of the wineries litsed here have their cellar doors where you can buy wine directly or websites where you can puchase online.

In addition the following retail outlets stock a reasonable slection of Matakana wines.


Matakana Winegrowers Association

PO Box 215, Matakana
New Zealand 0948

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(Note this association represents the winegrowers of Matakana and does not sell wine or organise tours. For this please contact the individual wineries or tours operators directly.)


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