Established in 1851, Mission Estate Winery is New Zealand’s oldest winery and considered the birthplace of New Zealand wine. On my recent visit to Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, we stopped by the Cellar Door for tasting of the Mission Estate Wine.
Established in 1851 by pioneering French missionaries with the blessing of the Pope, Mission Estate Winery still retains its charm with nods to its religious background in the restored seminary building in the Taradale Hills. The Cellar Door is located in a colonial-esque building that includes a Hawke’s Bay restaurant to the left and tasting room (Cellar Door) to the right.
But it’s hard to resist continuing through the building to step outside to enjoy the view – sweeping vista of Napier City and Hawke’s Bay. It will take your breath away.
The award-winning Mission Estate Winery’s restaurant serves fresh local produce creating a sustainable dining experience, including Hawke’s Bay lamb, and the restaurant also offers an outdoor terrace to enjoy that view while dining.
Reluctantly, I returned to the building, passing through the tasting room into the chapel, complete with church pews.
Seated on those church pews, I tasted an amazing selection of Mission State Wine, six in total: Reisling; Viognier; Chardonnay; Syrah; Cab Merlot ’09; and a hearty 100% Malbec with 15% alcohol (just 300 cases bottled).
My favorite was the Jewelstone Mission, 2008 Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay, aged in ½ new and ½ old Oaks, slightly smoky flavor. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the opportunity to sample Mission Estate’s Sauvignon Blanc, my go-to wine when traveling in Hawke’s Bay.
Mission Estate Winery is also known for its sustainable wine growing, an environmental management system. The vineyard produces 5 ranges of wine, many award-winning: Estate, Vineyard Selection, Reserve, Jewlstone, and Huchet. The Huchet is an upscale salute to their “pioneering” winemaker Brother Cyprian Huchet.
As the oldest winery in New Zealand, a stop at Mission Estate Winery to sample local New Zealand cuisine is a must for your visit to Hawke’s Bay.
Mission Estate Winery
198 Church Road
Taradale, Hawke’s Bay,
Phone: +64 6 845 9350