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Luxury Travel Blog | Travcoa

New Zealand's Hawke's Bay: Culinary Richness from the Wine Region

The Hawke's Bay region is known for its mild winters and long, hot, Mediterranean summers. It is this gorgeous climate that entices exclusive travelers to visit and allows the region to be so well-known for producing fine wine and remarkable food. Local markets are loaded with a bevy of fresh vegetables, seasonal fruit, locally-made cheeses, seafood, lamb, and artisan treats. These opulent goodies compete for stall space with bread, fresh baking, hand-made chocolates, and artisanal wines.

Hawke's Bay is New Zealand's oldest wine region, dating back over 100 years. Currently, it is the country's second biggest wine producing region, featuring over 100 vineyards and more than 80 wineries, which yield both inventive and traditional selections. Releasing less than 200,000 liters each per annum, most of the wineries are family owned; this imparts explorations with a true boutique experience that matches the quality of the award-winning wines.

LR-cape-kidnappers-merlot-malbec-09Among the abundance of fine wineries, exclusive travelers will come to cherish Clearview Estate Winery, Vineyards & Restaurant. A proudly locally owned and operated business, the estate grows eleven grape varieties in their Te Awanga vineyards. Plus, they intensively manage and prune their vines for low harvests of top-quality fruit. Gold medals, five star ratings, and trophies have been awarded for every vintage of their Reserve Chardonnay since 1992 and their Cape Kidnappers Merlot Malbec and Black Reef Blush are gaining acclaim.

No visit to the region would be complete without time in Napier. A 1931, 7.8 Richter scale earthquake and resulting fires left most of Napier devastated. Within two years, the city was restored in the popular Art Deco style of the era, with Maori design elements incorporated as well. This makes Napier a premiere location for appreciators of both art and design. Housing 140 original Art Deco buildings, Napier even boasts one of only two Art Deco McDonalds's—or "McDecos"—in the world. Walking tours run every day and no bookings are necessary. Alternatively, you can see the sights at your own pace by grabbing one of several available Art Deco Tour booklets. Immerse yourself in the magnificent architecture.

Art Deco Napier by russelljsmith, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  Art Deco Napier by  russelljsmith 

Cape Kidnappers, a half hour from Napier, is home to The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, ranked number two in New Zealand and the South Pacific by Travel + Leisure Magazine's list of 500 world's best hotels. The Farm is set atop 6,000 acres of working sheep and cattle farm and plays home to the Cape Kidnappers par 71 golf course, 2004 Golf Course of the year (Travel + Leisure Golf) and ranked #34 in the world by Golf Magazine. The boutique hotel offers all guests access to the golf course and clubhouse; heated infinity pool and Jacuzzi; the spa with magnificent views across the valley, towards the sea, or over the pine forest to snow covered Mount Ruapehu; and a fully equipped gym, offering yoga, Pilates, golf specific fitness and personal training.

For the nature lover, Cape Kidnappers offers options extending beyond their gorgeous golf course. Some of the best hiking in the region can be found on the trails that meander through the area. Adventurers will find a variety of difficulty from slow, casual woodland walks to intense hikes along the cliffs overlooking the ocean. Plus, The Farm offers guests the option of reserving a trail guide for hire or using day tripping amenities—picnics, blankets, backpacks, and maps.

Hawke's Bay offers luxury adventures to every visitor, whether they be athletic, culinary-minded, nature-loving, or art appreciating. Travcoa's Verdant New Zealand Private Journey 10 Day tour capitalizes on all that the region has to offer, providing guided, luxury travel. What could be more opulent than resort accommodations, fine wine, and vibrant architecture at your fingertips?

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Topics: New Zealand, Culinary, Wine