Today, New Zealand’s oldest wine growing region, Hawke’s Bay, has been named as the 12th Great Wine Capital of the World.

Thanks to its unique selection of soils and microclimates, the Hawke’s Bay region is known for producing excellent wines from a wide range of varietals, including Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris.

The accolade reflects the quality of the wine at Hawke’s Bay and the experience on offer to visitors, whether that be long vineyard lunches, soaking up live music at events like our Church Road Live Summer Sessions or transport options like the Hawke’s Bay Cycle Trail.

Tony Robb, our New Zealand Operations Director commented on the announcement, saying “Hawke’s Bay has been regarded as one of the premier wine growing regions in New Zealand, and indeed the world, for many years and today’s recognition, as one of the Great Wine Capitals of the World, demonstrates this.”

Chris Scott, Chief Winemaker for Church Road, said “as winemakers we are very lucky to live and work in Hawke’s Bay. Here at Church Road, 126 years of heritage has given us an enviable understanding of a region that is blessed with a combination of soils and climate that are perfect for high quality winegrowing.” .

With the addition of Hawke’s Bay, we now have six wineries listed within a Great Wine Capital:

  • Hawkes Bay – Church Road
  • South Australia – Jacob’s Creek and St Hugo
  • Rioja – Campo Viejo and Ysios
  • Napa Valley – Mumm Napa

About Great Wine Capitals

Established in Bordeaux in 1999, the Great Wine Capital Global Network aims to sustain the health and prosperity of wine-related industries and communities by encouraging collaboration between the Member Capitals on a wide range of projects, such as tourism and wine education.

The Great Wine Capitals Global Network has 12 Member Capitals, including some of the most renowned winegrowing regions from both the old and new world wine regions, such as Rioja, Napa Valley, Adelaide, Casablanca Valley and Bordeaux.

Hawke’s Bay Tourism, on behalf of Hawke’s Bay Wine Growers, Hastings District Council, Napier City Council,  Hawke’s Bay Airport and and EIT/Te Pūkenga, made an application to the Great Wine Capitals Network, outlining the benefits that Hawke’s Bay could bring to the other Member Capitals. The stringent selection process also looked at the region’s winegrowing industry, its history, wine tourism, educational, business, and travel opportunities, as well as the cities and region itself.

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 recognition that our 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.”

Jo Collins, President of the Adelaide, South Australia Great Wine Capitals Steering Committee said: “To be a member of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network requires a Capital to possess something truly ‘great’. Above average. Excellent in a global context. We are thrilled to welcome Hawke’s Bay and the twin cities of Napier and Hastings to our esteemed network. The quality of the wines from this region, their international recognition and unwavering commitment to excellence in grape and wine production, sustainable tourism and education was evident and saw them unanimously voted in by our existing 11 network members.”

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