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Jared Jeffery

08 Mar, 2019, 4:44 am



The true appeal of a good winery lies in more than just its offerings. Yes, it needs good juice of the grape. Yes, it needs a good variety. It should have some eclectic food to pair with it. It shouldn’t limit itself, and there needs to be one thing, just one, that it does particularly well.

It needs a setting that transcends its product; something about rolling hills, well-coiffed rows of wine grapes growing in a nicely-cultivated spot. A bit of scenery surrounding it is a plus. And a history makes a difference. Just an origin story, something mildly heroic, featuring someone struggling against all odds to work the land. Stellenbosch, Cape Town’s iconic stopover from the 16th century, does that. New York State’s grapevines, sheltering from the ravages of the blight in Europe, have it too. But a simple founder’s story works fine, too, and the North Island’s wine country brings plenty of those.

Most of Wellington’s nearby wineries were the product of its colonial past, when ships called at the docks in this antipodean outpost. After a trip like that, who wouldn’t need a few glasses of good grog? Perhaps some seaman had had enough of the rolling seas underfoot and moved his operation ashore, never again seeing his home. Maybe it was for the love of the craft. Maybe he just did it for the fun of it. A story is a story.

Regardless, your Stag party here in Wellington would be missing out if it were to pass upon the chance to visit some of the best purveyors of the grape in all of the North Island. You don’t have far to go, either.

Wellington Top Wineries for a Stag Party

North Island Wineries

The Wellington wineries of note are clustered around Martinborough, only an hour out of town. Here, the climate serves to keep the moisture at the right levels, shadowed from the most intense weather by the bulk of the rugged landscapes. From pinot, to rose, to malbec, you have an immense variety awaiting you on these well-tilled lands.

Part of the reason that this area provides such a good spot for grape-growing? The surrounding mountains shelter this spot from the incessant Southern Ocean rains, meaning the well-draining lands here provide the driest spot in the North Island. And with less humidity comes fewer chances of blights or diseases, and a more controlled irrigation pattern.

So where to head?

Poppies Martinborough

Your proprietor on this day will be, you guessed it, the lovely Poppy herself. Poppies has placed their focus on providing a wine that harkens back to the early days of wine grape cultivation here in the North Island, which means that their brewing methods have changed very little. Work is still done by hand, a labourious task, but it means the end result retains its classical charm. A varied offering awaits you here, alongside Poppy’s expert guidance, but be sure to test drive their dry whites.

91 Puruatanga Rd, Martinborough 5711, New Zealand

Colombo Martinborough

One of the younger wineries in the area, Colombo have wasted no time in setting up an operation that can compete with the best. A proper expat-driven venture, a Swiss-Irish couple established the winery, continued proudly on by a German-Kiwi combination. Thomas and Nicola will be only too happy to show you around. Don’t miss out on the pinots!

107 Todds Rd, Ponatahi 5784, New Zealand

Haythornthwaite Vineyard

This mouthful of a winery does things the old school way – to the point that it took several years for their yields to be big enough to qualify them for any wine tasting competitions. But as soon as it did, they wasted no time in coming home with some hardware, courtesy of one of Europe’s most prestigious competitions.

Their small batches mean more care is taken to each bottle. Here, test out the Gewürztraminer – another mouthful, as it were.

45 Omarere Rd, Martinborough 5711, New Zealand

Palliser Estate Winery

The biggest advantage of Palliser is the variety that it brings to the table. Among its seven wineries, spread across this unique landscape, you can find exactly what you are looking for.

With all seven wineries within walking distance of one another, Palliser has taken full advantage of the area and its market position. Strap on your walking shoes and prepare to be wowed.

96 Kitchener St, Martinborough 5711, New Zealand

Ata Rangi Vineyard & Winery

Soon to celebrate its fortieth anniversary, Ata Rangi was the result of some bold action by founder Clive Paton back in 1980, who sold his entire herd of dairy cows to buy five hectares of sheep paddock just outside of Martinborough. All of these years later, Ata Rangi is still family owned, and is renowned throughout the North Island and the world for its selection of Pinot Noir. Get amongst a few.

14 Puruatanga Rd, Martinborough 5741, New Zealand

A Wellington winery tour puts the ‘class’ in to ‘classic case of misadventure’. Your Stag party in Wellington has some amazing spots to visit and enjoy, and you would be remiss if you didn’t consider a few of them – slotted in between the more debaucherous elements of the party, of course. Contact us today and let us sort you out with an occasion that will be spoken about for years to come. Also don’t forget to check out our Wellington Stag Party Packages for a fun day of activities.

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