Waiheke & Auckland Private
Wine & Food Tours
Auckland’s ORIGINAL WINE TOUR COMPANY still in Operation
Enjoy a ‘WORLD RENOWNED’ Wine Tour FOR YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS AT A REALISTIC PRICE
1. TripAdvisor Auckland # 2 ‘Food & Drink’ 2019 & 2020
Click here for reviews
2. Your Choice of FOUR
Auckland Wine Tours
Kumeu Wine & Country Market
Waiheke Island V.I.P.
Hallertau Kumeu Grain & Grape
Matakana Road Trip
(Scroll down for more details)
ALSO AVAILABLE – GROUP TOURS
Team Building, Conference Groups, Family Celebrations, Birthdays, Anniversaries
Taking Bookings Now for Christmas Staff Party Wine & Lunch Tours!
3. Private & Personal
Exclusively for You
and your Group.
With 20 Years guiding tours in Auckland, wine writer Phil Parker is your friendly guide – with close relationships with wineries all across the Auckland region.
Not just a tour driver – Phil is a mad keen wine fan who loves to share his wide knowledge – all in a relaxed and fun day of fine wine tasting and discovery.
TripAdvisor review –
“During the past 20 years, I have had the opportunity to participate in dozens of wine tours and visit nearly a thousand wineries in multiple regions of the world. That said, I can without hesitation state that Phil Parker delivered the most enjoyable tour experience that my wife and I have ever participated in. Phil’s experience in the region, long standing personal relationships with the wineries we visited and his amazing knowledge of New Zealand wines made this a tour we will not forget.” Don, TX USA
4. Tour Mascot – Mr. Merlot !
Medium bodied red with distinctive nose and good legs !
( Meet ‘n’ Greet on request! )
5. ‘ Best Boutique VIP WAIHEKE ISLAND Tours ‘ TV5 Canada Doco.
Auckland’s only fully escorted Waiheke Tours!
6. FREE PICKUP – Central Auckland
7. Free Text and phone on WhatsApp
+64 21 626 529
8. Phil’s Wine Blog – latest edition- click here
Wine Tour Choices – please Scroll Down …
WINE TASTING TOURS in AUCKLAND’S WINE REGIONS
Historic Kumeu region
Located 25 minutes’ drive from downtown Auckland. Croatian immigrants began making wine here in the early 20th century and now Auckland has become huge part of the wine scene in New Zealand. This region takes in Kumeu, Huapai and Waimauku, and is easily reached from Auckland city, down State Highway 16. Once at the end of the motorway it’s instant countryside with vineyards, pastureland and spectacular coastline. Enjoy an Auckland wine tasting experience in historic Kumeu.
Back in 1978 Kim and Jeanette Goldwater had the vision to establish the island’s very first vineyard. Waiheke is a now premium, million-dollar-plus real estate zone, and one of the trendiest boutique wine regions in New Zealand. A tourist Mecca in summer, Waiheke’s wine, food and stunning Hauraki Gulf views draws both local and international visitors. Enjoy an Auckland wine tasting experience in boutique Waiheke wine region.
Phil Parker – the Recommended Expert Guide for small, personalised boutique Auckland wine tours and shore excursions in New Zealand – with extensive local knowledge and personal contacts throughout Auckland’s wine regions – Waiheke Island wine tours, Kumeu wine tours and Matakana wine tours. Wine tours Auckland Kumeu. Wine tours Auckland Waiheke.
Kumeu Auckland Winery Tours and private wine tours: Kumeu River, Soljans, Cooper’s Creek, West Brook, Hunting Lodge
Waiheke Auckland Winery Tours and private wine tours: Peacock Sky Cable Bay, Kennedy Point, Mud Brick, Obsidian, Te Motu, Goldie
Shore Excursion Tours and private wine tours, with Cruise ship pickup and return. Private tours by arrangement.
KUMEU LUNCH & COUNTRY MARKET
From $NZ 99 per person. Three Winery Visits … Enjoy a superb Vineyard Lunch … Discover a Black Sand Beach … Share a NZ Cheese Board … info pack and winery notes … Country Market … Scrumptious Ice Cream tasting!
A truly unique guided wihne experience. Three Award-winning Wineries. Cheese & Crackers. Tawny Port Sampling. Vineyard Restaurant Lunch with glass of wine, plus tea/coffee. Volcanic ‘black sand’ surf beach sight-seeing. Boric Orchard Markets fine food store and a fabulous complimentary ice cream! Click here and scroll down to read More…
WAIHEKE ISLAND V.I.P.
From $NZ 149 per person. Auckland’s premium VIP wine tasting experiences … Enjoy 3 boutique Winery Visits … option of Mudbrick lunch… Share a Private degustation wine tasting … stunning Harbour Scenery … Info pack.
Prepare to be spoiled. Indulge in Waiheke Island’s best food and wine – Lonely Planet’s ‘No. 5 Island Destination in the World’ Enjoy Auckland’s only Fully Hosted Waiheke tour package. Three Winery Tasting visits. Share a stunning lunch and Chef’s degustation Canapé and wine pairing. Auckland’s Treasure Island of wine will enchant you. Click here and scroll down to read More…
MATAKANA PLUME LUNCH & WINE TRIP
From $NZ 129 per person. Discover some of Auckland’s best kept secret boutique red wines, and enjoy a 5-Star Lunch in Matakana wine region.
Follow the scenic Pacific Coast on a full day – tour to explore three boutique wineries. Along the way, pause the share refreshments and complimentary fine Cheese sampling. Superb Vineyard restaurant lunch included.
Options of Honey Centre visit and Chocolate Boutique.
Click here to read More…
HALLERTAU KUMEU GRAIN & GRAPE
From $NZ 89 per person. Famous Hallertau beer tasting, 2 winery tasting visits, Ice Cream sampling!
Travel 30 minutes from Central Auckland to historic Kumeu wine region.
Two personalised wine tasting visits with cheese & crackers. Tawny Port sampling, Hallertau ‘paddle’ beer tasting included, Boric Orchards for a boutique ice cream tasting to finish!
Click here to read More…
Phil Parker’s Fine Wine Tours Auckland is the natural choice for personal and private Auckland wine tasting tours – Waiheke Island Auckland wine tours, Kumeu Auckland Wine tours. Also Auckland group wine tours plus Auckland ‘foodie tours’ – Auckland food &wine tours. Private Auckland wine tours also available. Plus larger group wine tours to Auckland’s winery regions. Cruise Ship Shore Excursion specialist for small groups.
Text (for fast response)
International +64 21 626 529
Local NZ 021 626 529
Facebook Messenger Click Here
Landline: Home Office – when I’m there !+64 9 8456 971
New Zealand’s wine history
The far North and west Auckland are where some of the first wines were made in New Zealand.
In 1819 Anglican missionary the Reverend Samuel Marsden planted the very first vines in the rich soils of Kerikeri and in the late 1830s Official British Resident James Busby produced the first recorded example of wine made here. It was a sparkling white wine and judged ‘very drinkable’ by a passing French official.
Then, from the turn of the 19th Century, a trickle of immigrants from what was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire (now Croatia) began to arrive here, in search of a better life – an escape from poverty and political instability in Europe. Into the 1920s and 1930s more and more arrived from the Adriatic coastal region of Dalmatia. They worked very hard – literally scratching a living, digging up buried kauri tree ‘gum’ resin from ancient forests north of Auckland. And it was very hard work. Iron spears blindly located the buried treasure, and then it was manually dug out of the heavy yellow clay. At the time, there was a thriving trade in kauri gum for making varnishes and glues.
These Croatian labourers saved up enough money to buy land. Some of them settled in the far north around Dargaville, Whangarei and Kaitaia, and a few intermarried with local Ngapuhi tribal Māori. The majority settled in northwest Auckland’s Oratia, Henderson Valley and Kumeu regions, where they grew fruit and vegetables alongside their family vineyards, growing grapes to make their own wine for daily consumption, as they had done in the old country.
These were the humble beginnings of some of our prominent wine labels: Kumeu River, Babich, Nobilo and Oyster Bay. Around the same time, some renowned smaller Auckland labels were making a start, for example West Brook, Soljans, Mazurans, Collards, Corbans and Selaks. 1961 was a particularly good year for our wine industry – George Fistonich started Villa Maria wines in Mangere, the same year that Frank and Maté Yukich began Montana (now Brancott) in Titirangi.
Today, the Big Four – Montana, Nobilo, Matua and Villa Maria – are all Auckland-based and export large volumes of our wine overseas, through the port of Auckland to the thirsty markets of Australia, the Pacific, North America and the United Kingdom.
Aside from small attempts at grape growing by French settlers in Akaroa and German settlers in Motueka, Hawke’s Bay represents the other major component in our wine history. Thanks to the Catholic Church’s Marist order of priests, the Mission vineyard was primarily established to produce sacramental wines for use in the Catholic Mass. And Mission Estate was one of our earliest commercial vineyards, with its first sales in 1895. Hawke’s Bay has declined somewhat in terms of production, but is still one of the premium red-wine regions – particularly the branded Gimblett Gravels region.
Into the 1950s and into the 1960s there was still very little demand for table wines. The majority of wines sold in those days were Ports and Sherries – sweet wines fortified with grape spirit. Beer had been the national beverage for decades. But slowly, over the years, and into the 1970s, the NZ palate became a bit more sophisticated.
Wine producers rose to the challenge and produced easy-drinking sweet unsophisticated wines like ‘Sauternes’ and ‘Rhine Rieslings’ from bulk-produced, high-cropping white grapes. In the mid-1970s, the notorious sparkling sweet red wine from Montana Cold Duck was seen as a very classy wine. Over the next 10 years, easy-drinking sweet-to-medium white wines like Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Muller-Thürgau dominated the market. God-awful bag-in-box wines were very popular, some not even technically wine. I recall a brand named Brother Dominic ‘White’ which was allegedly largely made from ethyl alcohol, flavourings and chemicals. Some of my worst hangovers and more regrettable incidents in the late 1970s are related to this beverage.
By the mid 1980s, because of over-planting, the government actually paid growers to pull out these vines, in the hope that they would return vineyards to pasture land. In the event they did rip out the old ones, but canny growers replaced inferior vines with improved varietal clones of the classical European grape varieties we see now.
By happy coincidence, having been established for around 10 years, and begun by Montana Wines, Marlborough’s Sauvignon Blanc output was gaining international acclaim. Planting Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot and many other classic grape varieties was encouraged.
The industry has since then grown exponentially, with what seems every part of the country from north to south exploring grape growing. Wine is now second only to agriculture as our largest export product, with Sauvignon Blanc still leading, but our Pinot Noir gaining more recognition to the extent that it is our second-largest grape variety.
Phil Parker is a wine writer and wine tour operator, based in Auckland New Zealand.
Regular and private wine tours available.