The Bay of Plenty region has an area of 4,729 square miles (12,247 square kilometers) [source: New Zealand]. Together with the Waikato region, Bay of Plenty has a hand in producing about 3 percent of New Zealand's wine. And it's only about a dozen wineries that contribute to this percentage of the country's wine production [source: New Zealand's Information Network].
Though the Bay of Plenty and Waikato are often lumped together for easy division of land regions, their climates differ slightly. Waikato isn't as close to the water and tends to be pastureland and agriculture-heavy. Waikato experiences a lot of rain, and so isn't really in the best position to grow grapes. Wine grapes like to be a little more dry and sun-drenched than what the Waikato region can provide. Bay of Plenty is on the coast and does grow vine plants well, but grapes aren't on the top of the list. Kiwi fruit dominates the region's agriculture [source: Kiwi Wineries].
Given the soil and climate conditions, it may seem like Bay of Plenty and Waikato have no business trying to grow grapes for the ultimate purpose of wine. But you'd be wrong to think that. The soil is rather warm because of the weather, and the clay subsoils provide a good base for wine grapes [source: Four Corners].
Click to the last page to learn about the world-renowned wines of the Bay of Plenty wine region.