West   Auckland   Wine   Trails

Henderson
Valley

Kumeu
& Huapai

Wining
& Dining

Wine Trail
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The Winemaking Tradition

Winemaking flowered early in West Auckland. The first winemakers were the Dalmatians, who at the turn of the century planted vines and began to produce wine at Henderson.
West Auckland Vineyard
In 1902, the same year that the Lebanese A.A. Corban established 1.6 hectares in vines at Henderson, Stripan Jelich at Pleasant Valley made the first wine at what has now become the oldest family-owned winery in New Zealand.

Henderson winemakers of the 1960's, wishing to expand to meet soaring demand, faced a problem in the lack of reasonably large blocks of land. Expansion soon shifted to the Kumeu/Huapai district, where wineries such as Nobilo and Kumeu River already had an extended history.

Today, strung out along Lincoln Road and Henderson Valley Road, and nestled in the surrounding hills, Henderson has one of the largest clusters of wineries in the country. And scattered across the softly undulating countryside that craddles the townships of Kumeu, Huapai and Waimaukau are numerous quality-orientated wineries. In West Auckland, the grapevine has sunk deep roots.

Wine is one of life's great pleasures, but should always be enjoyed in moderation.

When visiting wineries, be careful not to abuse the hospitality so freely bestowed. Sampling is a privilege extended to help you make your selection. And please no smoking!

WINE STYLES

You will notice most West Auckland wines are labelled with the name of a single classic grape variety like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Muller-Thurgau or Cabernet Sauvignon. These varietal names hold the key to understanding West Auckland Wines because, although each winemaker seeks to leave an individual stamp on his wines, each variety still retains its own distinctive aroma and flavour.

Mature Vines Chardonnays are full bodied and oak-aged, with fruit flavours ranging from crisp apples and lemons, through to stone fruit - peaches and apricots - flavour of very ripe grapes. Sauvignon Blancs are penetrating and herbaceous; Gewurztraminers highly aromatic and spicy. Muller-Thurgaus are delicate and fruity; Rieslings are strongly scented, their flavour a harmony of citrus-like fruit and steely acidity.

Pinot Noir and Pinotage are soft, supple reds. Cabernet Sauvignon are deep flavoured and complex, with the lighter body and stylishness only achieved in cooler wine regions. Merlot imparts fragrances and richness to its blends with the more austere Cabernet Sauvignon.

Sunset West Auckland is one of New Zealand's majorgrape growing regions. Its northern climate is admirably suited to the production of premium reds: Cabernet Sauvignon is the most commonly plated grape, with Merlot and Pinot Noir also important. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are the predominant white varieties.

Most West Auckland wineries also draw fruit from other leading grapegrowing regions, notably Hawke's Bay, Gisborne and Marlborough. All four regions enjoy moderately cool weather under which ripening proceeds slowly. The cool weather brings to the fruit optimum development of its aroma and flavour constituents, yielding wines of remarkable varietal intensity.

Henderson
Valley

Kumeu
& Huapai

Wining
& Dining

Wine Trail
MAPS

New Zealand Wine Infocus
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