Hawke's Bay is the second largest wine growing district in New Zealand and home to the country’s oldest winery. It produces a range of medal-winning wines in the sunniest and warmest part of the country. As the top region in New Zealand for Bordeaux blends, Rhone style wines and Chardonnay, it has to offer some of the most superb winery restaurants. There is a unique 180km (110mi) of cycle trails connecting towns with wineries.
The best time to go is January to February for wine and architecture festivals, and late March to May for harvest time. A 4 night stay would give you a good overview of the regions’ strengths from a wine and food perspective. Wineries are open all year round but during winter (May to October) many have reduced working hours. The region is very busy during Christmas until late January and it is strongly recommended to book accommodation well in advance.