Local food and wine in Wairarapa
Located at the heart of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail, the Wairarapa encompasses five small characterful towns - Martinborough, Featherston, Greytown, Carterton and Masterton. With several boutique vineyard areas, the region punches above its weight for fine wines, and artisan food producers offer a range of locally-made treats including gourmet bread, chocolate, cheese and olive oil.
Join a local tour
One of the best ways to experience the Wairarapa is to travel on a tour. There are are several companies that take you to explore the vineyards or taste your way through the region, while they share their local tips and stories.
Give in to your sweet tooth at Schoc Chocolate
This unique artisan chocolate studio is in a colonial cottage on the Main Street of Greytown. With over 60 flavours of chocolate, Schoc Chocolates creates beautiful, hand-crafted tablets with unusual flavour including the top three perennial selling flavours Lime & Chilli, Sea Salt and Lemon White.
Shop and explore Greytown
Greytown is an upmarket shopping and eating gem with beautifully restored Victorian wooden buildings that house a range of stylish and interesting specialty shops, clothing boutiques, cafes and restaurants. Highlight stores include Food Forest Organics, HALL fashion and Blackwell & Sons.
Food Forest Organics
Greytown's organic plant based produce store and cafe sells organic food with fresh organic produce direct from the Cameron Family Farm in South Wairarapa owned by movie director James Cameron. Food Forest Organics also sells olive oil, hemp seed oil, walnut oil and flaxseed oil, from the farm's own crops, and honey. Food Forest Organics is a great place for a healthy lunch, smoothie or snack.
Pop into C'est Cheese
You'll find C'est Cheese on the main street of Featherston. This artisan deli, specialising in terrific New Zealand-made cheeses, offers something for all taste buds, from cumin-flecked gouda to French-style blues.There are also a huge range of chutneys, salamis, exquisite local olive oils, speciality goods and platter favourites.
Explore the Wairarapa wineries
With cellar doors close together and cycling easy cycling-the-vines is the thing to do in Martinborough. Hire a bike and pick up a cellar door map from the Martinborough i-SITE visitor centre to discover boutique family-owned vineyards and artisan food producers. Alternatively, join a guided tour and have a local show you around.
Learn more about wine at Palliser Estate
Palliser is one of the founding vineyards in Martinborough and today its wines can be found in some of the best restaurants around the globe. Visit their Cellar Door, learn how to match local cheeses to their wine on a Wine & Cheese Pairing tour or go behind the scenes on their Barrel Tasting tour.
Taste local olive oil at Olivo
Delve into the world of olives at the oldest commercial olive grove in the Wairarapa. Tour the olive grove, learn about olive oil production and sample distinctive flavoured infused oils including fennel, porcini, lemon and smoked paprika.
Visit the Martinborough Wine Merchants
The expert team can tell you everything you need to know about Wairarapa wines and the vineyards that make them - and they're open seven days a week. Pop in and browse their wide range of wine, spirits, craft beer, local olive oil, gifts and more.
Get banking at the Wine Bank
The Wine Bank is located in the refurbished, old Bank of New Zealand building overlooking the Martinborough Square. Here you'll find a showcase of Wairarapa’s finest wines including award winning, single vineyard and reserve wines from boutique wineries that often don't have cellar doors. Over 60 local wines always available for tasting and also available to buy. Thanks to state of the art imported machines holding bottles of wine, you can serve yourself - by the taste, half or full glass. Relax in luxe surroundings and enjoy tasting plates specially created to complement the wines.
Continue to Wellington
After exploring the Wairarapa Region, continue driving south along the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail to reach Wellington, New Zealand’s compact capital city known for its vibrant arts and cultural scene and rich heritage. This section of the drive is about 75-minutes where you will drive across the Remutaka Ranges.Travel South
Continue to Hawke's Bay
Alternatively, follow the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail north through the Tararua district to the Hawkes Bay. An easy circuit through pastoral landscapes to outlying vineyard clusters and charming small villages. Allow half a day for the drive and on the way, stop at the historic Tui Brewery in Mangatainoka. Join a guided tour and taste your way through the selection of ales, checking out the museum, shop and café.Travel north