Church Road Winery
With a fascinating wine museum and guided tours, Church Road Winery is a great place to learn about the history and art of winemaking. Discover artefacts dating back 3,000 years and examine walls studded with glimmering tartrate crystals. Find out how some of the finest wine in New Zealand is made and enjoy a meal of organic meat and fish in the winery’s restaurant.
Founded in 1897, the Church Road Winery came to fame when it released one of the nation’s first commercially available cabernet sauvignons in 1949. After closing for a period during the 1980s, the winery was completely renovated and reopened in 1989. Taste some of the superb vintages it produces today.
Descend into the winery’s museum, which is concealed underground inside several concrete vats. Admire tools and utensils that are as much as thousands of years old and listen carefully to the guide for insider tips on how to make high-quality wine.
As you wander around the subterranean exhibits, notice the glistening crystals adorning the walls. These are formed from the tartaric acid of the wine that was once stored here.
Leave the cool, quiet museum and head to the modern cellar for a free tasting as part of your tour. Sample a range of the estate’s wines. The cellar also offers some limited varieties that are not widely available elsewhere.
Book a table at the winery’s restaurant. The menu is packed full of artisan produce from around Hawke’s Bay with meat and seafood served alongside locally grown vegetables. If the weather is nice, sit outside in the sun.
Church Road Winery is a 10-minute drive southwest of Napier. The restaurant and museum are open daily. Tours run twice daily from late October through to April and once daily during the rest of the year. Book your tour online before you go to secure your spot.