BAY OF ISLANDS, NORTH ISLAND
Some of the world’s most spectacular coastal scenery is found in the Bay of Islands. A 400-hectare pocket of this unique landscape is home to The Landing, an exclusive rural retreat fringed with white-sand beaches. Best accessed by helicopter, four architect-designed residences and a sustainable vineyard are surrounded by contoured farmland, lush native bush, wetlands and sea views.
New Zealand’s wine story began in the Bay of Islands in 1819 when early missionaries planted the first vines – The Landing – and head winemaker Ben Byrne continues this pioneering spirit. The vineyard site was chosen for its microclimate, clay and sandstone soils, regular sea breeze and protection from prevailing winds. Positioned above Rangihoua Bay, the view isn’t so bad either.
Originally planted with Chardonnay and Syrah in 2007, the nine-hectare site also grows Merlot, Pinot Gris, Sangiovese, Malbec, Montepulciano and Cabernet Franc. All fruit from this boutique vineyard is pressed, fermented, barrel-aged and bottled onsite, and the wine cellar is a special place to enjoy what’s on offer. This elliptical stone tower, a commanding presence in the landscape, was designed by multi-award-winning practice Cheshire Architects, which also designed the villas.
For the wine buff, the Vineyard Villa is a must. As well as its soothing outlook to immaculate rows of vines, it also enjoys expansive views over a wetland valley and Wairoa Bay, where the glass walls of the home slide away behind stonework to transform the pavilion into an outdoor room. The Vineyard Villa sleeps six people in two equal-status king bedrooms and has a generous main suite. JB