Beautiful by day and spectacular by night, the views from this local favourite are unparalleled in Hawke’s Bay. From the moment you turn into the 104-year-old plane-tree-flanked avenue that snakes up the hill to one of the most iconic winery buildings in the southern hemisphere, you know you’re somewhere special. Housed in an elegantly restored historic seminary building with sweeping views of Napier, Mission Estate is the most visited and oldest winery in the country. Kid-friendly, bike-friendly and even your well-behaved furry friends are welcome by arrangement, meaning you can all relax together and soak up the sun and surroundings.
Things to know
Mission Estate was founded by Catholic Marist missionaries in 1851. Sub Mariae Nomine, the inscription on the crest at the top of the majestic Victorian Mission Estate building, means “under the name of Mary”. In 1910, this building was cut into 11 sections and moved here via logs and traction engines from its original flood-prone site in Meeanee – New Zealand’s first-ever building relocation. In the early days trainee priests would help in the vineyard and winery and the stylish ground-floor tasting room (boasting incredible historic photographs and a library of significant bottles, including commemorative Mission Concert labels) is where they used to sleep. Winemaker Paul Mooney also has serious history here, having been part of the furniture for 33 years.
The Jewelstone wines are made only in years when the fruit is exceptional, and the Huchet Syrah sums up what the winemaking team can achieve with this rising-star variety.
The outdoor dining terrace is drenched in summer sun while the indoor restaurant space has been designed to provide intimate dining. Chef Daniel Lorch’s anchoviade-and-olive-crusted slow-cooked lamb shoulder served with roasted butternut and pearl barley risotto is melt-in-your-mouth magic.
Hours 7 days 11am to late, Ph: 06-845 9354