Hawke's Bay is the second-largest and the oldest wine region located on the east coast of the North Island. The Hawke's Bay name derives of from the large, semi-circular bay on the Pacific coastline in which it sits, roughly 55 km south of Gisborne. The first planted grapevines in the country in 1851 by Marist missionaries elevate the region to a historical status together with the world-renowned Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blends and complex Chardonnay. Of course, there are fine examples of Sauvignon Blanc and very promising and interesting Syrah expressions. Hawke’s Bay experiences a very sunny climate, with average temperatures somewhere between that found in Burgundy and Bordeaux in France. The cool maritime influence moderates the hot summer days and allows a long growing season, important for the quality wine production. It is a well-established quality wine region with many specialities and plenty of experimental grapes varieties for the country like Arneis, Montepulciano, Verdelho, Sangiovese and Tempranillo.
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