Tairāwhiti Gisborne wine & food

The freshest seafood, farm-grown produce, arty craft beer and deliciously fruity chardonnays - Tairāwhiti Gisborne knows how to dish up the best eating and drinking experiences.

If you were going to design a region that's great at growing wonderful ingredients, it would look a lot like Tairāwhiti Gisborne in the North Island of New Zealand. There would be an expanse of Pacific coastline for fishing, fertile farmland for vegetables and fruit trees, stony river plains for intensely-flavoured grapes and more than 2,500 sunshine hours a year. Gizzy, as the locals call it, ticks all of these boxes. It's a place of abundance that accomplished chefs and winemakers are proud to call home.

Tairāwhiti Gisborne winery restaurants and cellar doors

You might hear Tairāwhiti Gisborne referred to as 'the chardonnay capital of New Zealand'' and the region wears this nickname with pride. But other red wine and white wine varieties also do very well in the Tairāwhiti Gisborne wine region. Viognier, pinot gris, merlot, cabernet sauvignon and the slightly-unpronounceable gewurtztraminer wines from Tairāwhiti Gisborne are known for their attitude and intensity. There are around 20 wineries in the region and several of them welcome visitors for casual tastings of their boutique wine range. The local visitor centre can fix you up with a Gisborne wineries map.

If you're interested in Tairāwhiti Gisborne winery restaurants, Bushmere Estate (The Vines Gisborne) has delicious food, whilst Wrights Winery have delectable cheese board options, so you can match local wines to exceptional food. If you want to indulge without driving, Gisborne Tours or Experience Gisborne are locals who'll show you around your pick of wineries in Tairāwhiti Gisborne.

If you don't have time to personally explore the wineries, visit the Wine Centre Gisborne at the harbour's edge in the city. You can enjoy a guided tasting experience that covers the best of Tairāwhiti Gisborne's wine types, and then tuck into a delicious meal at the on-site Crawford Road Kitchen restaurant.

After you've eaten, take a stroll on Waikanae Beach as the sun goes town. From the beach you can look out to Mahia Peninsula & possibly even catch surfers working the beach break.

Craft brewing culture

If beer's one of your favourite flavours, you're going to love Gisborne's Sunshine Brewery. For nearly three decades, the Sunshine crew have been turning out a range of superb craft beers. With names inspired by local surf breaks like stockies, no access, Pipeline Pilsner and the classic Gizzy Gold, the brews made by Sunshine are truly inspired. They also do a heritage range, if your tastes are more conservative. You can sample a few at The Taproom, down at Waikanae Beach near the river mouth. There's an excellent pizza and platter menu to ensure you're not sipping on an empty stomach.

Tairāwhiti Gisborne restaurants and cafes

Where the Waimata and Taruheru Rivers meet you'll find a concentration of good places to eat in Tairāwhiti Gisborne. On the eastern side of the marina there are favourites like The Wharf Bar and Grill, Lonestar and The Works. On the western side is USSCO Bar & Bistro, The Rivers, the Dome Bar & Cinema and a selection of cafes. And between the two areas is the Marina Restaurant, which gets consistent five-star reviews from diners. Tairāwhiti Gisborne cafes and restaurants are known for their inspired use of fantastic local ingredients.

Rural hospitality

When you've had your fill of the best restaurants in Tairāwhiti Gisborne, drive north on the historic Highway 35. In Tolaga Bay you'll find Broad Bills located at the base of Tolaga Bay wharf, serving up delicious pizza & fries. After you've eaten, take a stroll down Tolaga Bay Wharf – 660m of sightseeing happiness. If you venture further north you'll come across Tokomaru Bay – and no stop around the coast is complete with trying out Café 35's famous Paua Pie.

Gisborne vineyard image courtesy of gisbornenz.com; Wine cellar image courtesy of Brook Sabin; Beer tasting image courtesy of Brook Sabin