Perched high on a stunning hilltop overlooking vineyards, rivers and out towards the Ruahine Range, Pukeora Estate has the wow-factor in spades. It was a health sanatorium from 1918 until 1998, and has thus been associated with rest and recuperation through sunshine and fresh air for decades. In 2000, Max Annabell and Kate Norman turned the sprawling complex into a vineyard, winery and convention venue.
Things to know
Translated from Maori, Pukeora means “hill of health”. The steep, north-facing slopes provide the perfect location for vines, and over the past 14 years Max and Kate have created a distinctive regional style from their plantings of pinot noir, pinot gris, merlot, malbec, chardonnay, syrah and semillon. Visitors are welcome to bring their own picnic (with wine purchase). There is also a cafe-bar that will open for groups by arrangement.
Central Hawke’s Bay is fast becoming an exciting Burgundy-like sub-region due to its free-draining clay and limestone soils, so make sure you try the Ruahine Range Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Pukeora’s spectacular location makes it the perfect place for special events such as The Festival, an annual wine, food, art and craft extravaganza (thefestival.org.nz).