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Hawke’s Bay: New Zealand’s Oldest Wine Region Earns Coveted Spot Among the World’s Premier Wine Capitals

Hawke’s Bay, the oldest wine growing region in New Zealand, has recently achieved a remarkable milestone by joining the elite list of “Great Wine Capitals,” an exclusive group of top wine-producing destinations around the globe (listed below).

Acknowledged as one of the world’s wine-tourism powerhouses, Hawke’s Bay now stands shoulder to shoulder with illustrious regions like Bordeaux and the Napa Valley as a prestigious appellation.

The twin cities of Napier and Hastings have become the latest additions to this esteemed list since Adelaide, South Australia, was included back in 2016.

Hawke’s Bay Tourism is exultant at this well-deserved recognition, arriving at a crucial time for the region. This recognition not only places the region on the map within New Zealand but also on the world stage. After enduring the devastating impact of Cyclone Gabrielle, which had a profound effect on numerous growers and producers, this recognition injects hope into the region’s important wine industry. Wine contributes $300 million annually to the region’s direct revenue.

View north from Te Mata Peak over Te Marta Wines, Askerne wines and many others
Morning view from Te Mata Peak, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand

Hawke’s Bay Tourism spokesperson attributes this achievement to the unique combination of climate, distinctive soils, and the innovative spirit of the talented individuals within the region.

The unanimous vote by the existing 11 network members solidifies Hawke’s Bay’s place among the global wine elite. Jo Collins, president of the Adelaide Great Wine Capitals Steering committee, remarked that the Hawke’s Bay wine region was a natural choice for membership.

“To be a member of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network requires a Capital to possess something truly ‘great.’ Above average. Excellent in a global context,” she stated. “We are thrilled to welcome Hawke’s Bay and the twin cities of Napier and Hastings to our esteemed network.”

Established in 1999, the Great Wine Capitals network was created to celebrate the best in both old and new world winemaking and to foster collaboration and travel between these esteemed regions. With a quarter-century history of recognizing the “Best of Wine Tourism,” this network is widely considered the go-to authority for industry experts and wine enthusiasts alike, seeking unparalleled wine experiences and destinations.

Hawke’s Bay’s inclusion not only highlights its rich Art Deco heritage in Napier but also showcases its unique and innovative approach to wine production.

Tourism New Zealand’s chief executive, René de Monchy, applauded this achievement, stating, “Being named as a Great Wine Capital of the World is a fantastic platform to showcase the Hawke’s Bay region’s amazing wine offerings and its range of experiences and attractions to domestic and international visitors.”

With its well-deserved place secured among the “Big 11 Great Wine Capitals,” Hawke’s Bay has rightfully claimed its spot as one of the world’s most sought-after wine regions, promising unforgettable experiences and exquisite wines for all who journey there.

The Big 11 Great Wine Capitals are:

  1. Adelaide | South Australia
  2. Bilbao – Rioja | Spain
  3. Bordeaux | France
  4. Cape Town – Cape Winelands | South Africa
  5. Lausanne | Switzerland
  6. Mainz – Rheinhessen | Germany
  7. Mendoza | Argentina
  8. Porto | Portugal
  9. San Francisco – Napa Valley | United States
  10. Valparaiso – Casablanca Valley | Chile
  11. Verona | Italy