New Zealand in recent decades has established itself among the world’s wine hot spots, boasting increasingly famous wine-growing regions like Marlborough and Hawkes Bay. But New Zealand visitors thirsty for great wine need not leave greater Auckland to enjoy some of this beautiful country’s best vintages. Instead, just a short ferry ride from downtown is Waiheke Island, home base for the Mudbrick Vineyard a laid-back winery with killer food and wine and some of greater Auckland’s most astounding views.
Getting to Mudbrick from Auckland is a snap, but it feels worlds away from the city’s fast pace. Start by boarding a ferry for the 30 minute ride from downtown, during which you’ll be treated to panoramic views of Auckland’s scenic harbor and skyline, dotted by the plenty of sailboats. Soon you’ll arrive at Waiheke Island, a land mass formed by a long-extinct volcano. After a quick taxi ride from the ferry station, you’ll arrive at Mudbrick.
Situated at one of the island’s highest points, the vistas from Mudbrick alone make it worth the trip. As you enter the property, the vineyard’s vast fields of grapes slope down toward Auckland harbor below in near picture-postcard beauty. Tiny luminous insects dance over the vines in the shining sun and the faint silhouette of Auckland’s skyscrapers is visible in the distance. Once you’re done with the view, make sure to enjoy a wine tasting or a top-notch lunch at the complex’s al fresco patio. As you look out over the rows of grapes from your table, green leaves rustling gently in the salty breeze, a plate of fresh swordfish and glass of Sauvignon Blanc in front of you, you’ll understand why you made the trip. It’s this combination of unspoiled beauty, amazing views and top-notch wine that make Mudbrick Vineyard truly worth the visit.