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Brick Bay Winery – One of the five best Auckland wineries for a weekend drive

When you think of wine-tasting trips in New Zealand you imagine scenic drives through Marlborough, Otago, Hawkes Bay and Nelson. What you’re probably not picturing is the roadworks and congestion of Auckland’s motorways.

But the good news for those living in the city is there are some impressive wineries much closer to home than you might realise – some of the best cellar doors are within half an hour of the CBD.

So there are no excuses to get a few friends together; toss a coin for designated driver, or book a tour to venture out to a Matakana winery.

Fine Wine & Food Tours guide Phil Parker chose some top options that feature a cellar door and are within an easy drive from Auckland.

3. Brick Bay wines – Arabella Lane, Snells Beach, Matakana

brick bay matakanaBrick Bay Wines and Sculpture Trail

Looking north of Auckland (about 50 minutes’ drive from the city and 20 minutes from our B&B) this pretty winery is the perfect day trip destination or pit stop on your holiday. Parker says it’s one of the younger wineries in Matakana: its first wines were released in 1998 and cellar door opened in 2007. It’s owned by the Didsbury family who were behind the Matakana Farmers Market and Matakana Cinema.

This Matakana winery produces about 1000 cases per year, specialising in pinot gris, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, malbec and petit verdot.

At the cellar door you’ll find “very stylish architecture by Noel Lane and an airy glasshouse tasting facility and offices cantilevered over a large mirrored pond”, Parker says.

The venue has a sculpture trail, which draws in a lot of families, particularly over summer. Parker says in addition to wine, they also sell their own cold-pressed olive oil and honey, sourced from the property.

Brick Bay winery is about a 20km drive from our B&B – although you can see it across the harbour. A really pleasant way to spend some time although we do recommend you book if you intend to visit for lunch and a wander round over summer. Looking for a weekend getaway from Auckland. See if we have availability at the time you’d like to escape.