Hawke's Bay named one of 12 great wine capitals in the world, alongside Bordeaux, Verona, Napa Valley

Stock image of glass of wine in front of a vineyard
The accolade is hoped to bring a welcome boost to the industry. Photo credit: Getty Images

Hawke's Bay has been named one of the great wine capitals of the world, setting it alongside 11 other global heavyweights such as Bordeaux, Verona and Napa Valley.

The region was awarded 12th place in the list of the Great Wine Capitals of the World, hoped to bring a welcome boost to the industry as it recovers from Cyclone Gabrielle.

The accolade takes into account the quality of the wine and the experience on offer to visitors.

For Hawke's Bay, this included its Art Deco heritage, long vineyard lunches and cellar door bike tours, with the region seeing $620 million from tourism each year.

Hawke's Bay Wine chairperson Sally Duncan said the region has some of the best wine-growing soils and climates in the country, producing more than 40,000 tonnes of grapes a year with more than 200 vineyards, 125 wine producers and more than 30 cellar doors.

Hawke's Bay Tourism chief executive Hamish Saxton said it was a remarkable milestone for the region, and the Great Wine Capitals network was already providing support and information to wineries impacted by the cyclone.

The honour will provide a significant boost to the region's post-cyclone recovery, he said, particularly with the wine industry already generating an estimated $300 million to the Hawke's Bay economy and $156 million to GDP.

"Most of our wineries and cellar doors are now back open and keen to welcome manuhiri," Saxton said.

Jo Collins, president of the Adelaide, South Australia Great Wine Capitals Steering Committee, said the existing 11 members unanimously voted for Hawke's Bay's inclusion in the list.

"The quality of the wines from this region, their international recognition and unwavering commitment to excellence in grape and wine production, sustainable tourism and education was evident," she said.

She said the network members did not see each other as competition, but worked together to support, learn, and raise the bar in global wine and tourism.

Hawke's Bay first attempted to become a member in 2009 but at the time, needed to have a population of more than 250,000 to be considered.

The network has since relaxed this rule, given the exceptional situation of Hawke's Bay having two smaller cities situated very close together in Napier and Hastings.

The other Great Wine Capitals are:

  • Adelaide, South Australia
  • Bilbao - Rioja, Spain
  • Bordeaux, France
  • Cape Town - Cape Winelands, South Africa
  • Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Mainz - Rheinhessen, Germany
  • Mendoza, Argentina
  • Porto, Portugal
  • San Francisco - Napa Valley, United States
  • Valparaiso - Casablanca Valley, Chile
  • Verona, Italy.