A kauri forest in a former life, this handsome piece of gently sloping, north-facing fertile land became a vineyard in 1993. It was early days for this region with uncertain viability, yet Ransoms has more than survived this tough industry and built a strong reputation for its wines and wonderful hospitality. And the location is just brilliant: the only winery/cellar door south of Warkworth, making it that much closer to the largest city in the country, and it’s just off the main highway. You’ll love the artworks on the walls, and be fascinated by the variety of wines on offer – from crisp whites to full-bodied reds and barrel-aged fortified cabernet.
Things to know
Tours and tutored tastings are available for small groups. It’s a great way to view the workings of a small winery and to learn the unique flavours of each variety. The Wine Bar offers wine by the glass or bottle, or flights of wine tastes, and platters including The Sweet Treats Platter. The handy location and cosy ambience have made this place popular for weddings and functions.
Ransom produces unusual varieties including albariño, roussanne and carménère, which are worth a try. The pinot gris is famously good, as is the red blend, Mahurangi.
Try the excellent olive oil and limoncello.