Things are getting tasty in our #NZTakeover as today we take our tastebuds on a tour of the country, sampling the best local food and wine along the way. Kiwis are very loyal to their local produce and with good reason, their wines (in particular white wines) are considered amongst the very best in the world and are highly sought after. So cleanse your pallet and broaden your horizons with a true taste of New Zealand.
With regards to wine, the only logical place to start would be in Marlborough, a region that produces over 75% of the country's total. Marlborough is set amidst diverse landscape in the north-east of the South Island and embraces its favourable location to enhance its produce. Drawing from the nearby Pacific Coast, towering mountains to the north and an impressive stretch of plains rising up to narrow valleys in the south, local winemakers have both practical and beautiful surroundings in which to develop their wine. It is here that you will find a Sauvignon Blanc to rival any other that you have tasted.
Moving up into Napier on the North Island's east coast is Hawke's Bay - the second largest wine region in New Zealand. Hawke's Bay has been a rich source of fine wine for over 150 years, producing a strong range of red wines including Merlot and other Bordeaux blends. You'll also find full-bodied Chardonnay in abundance here.
Hawke's Bay is also well-known for its food and it presents Napier with bustling scenes at its many food and farmer's markets. A selection of food and wine tours make for excellent excursions, enabling you to get a strong sample of both the quality and variety available here. Discover artisan food producers, stunning restaurants and the freshest food as you wander the streets, the vibrant colours catching your eye at every turn. Better still, you can put your faith in house wines at any restaurant you choose, again, such is the faith and loyalty in the local produce.
If you want to be spoilt for choice for world-class restaurants though, it's Auckland you're after. Again, food tours are in strong supply here and it's hardly surprising thanks to the sheer variety ready to be sampled. The historic town of Ponsonby will put forward the popular trio of chocolate, coffee and baking treats - all locally made of course. On the other hand, the village of Puhoi will have cheese lovers in awe of it thanks to its Puhoi cheese.
Uncover the Auckland fish market for fish and chips straight off of the boat or discover one of the many surrounding wine regions for a tipple and a treat. Matakana in itself is home to a number of vineyards (each with nearby restaurants) and hosts a remarkable farmer's market on Saturdays where you can gain inspiration on fresh produce and new recipes to take home with you.