There's no doubt here -- if you're visiting the Hawke's Bay wine region, you better like reds. After all, it is the leading producer of red wines in New Zealand and holds its own wine festival devoted strictly to reds.
This overwhelming popularity of reds is not without reason. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, and Syrah grapes take up more than three-quarters of New Zealand's grape population [source: Wine Hawke's Bay]. Chardonnays are also a very popular choice in Hawke's Bay. This grape claims the most land within the Hawke's Bay wine region [source: NZ Wine Connection].
Though Chardonnays are possibly Hawke's Bay's biggest producer, the region's Merlots are nothing to sneeze at. These reds are some of the best in the entire country of New Zealand, coupled with some great Syrah reds that have a robust, spicy tang to them.
One last wine variety that has proven popular in the Hawke's Bay wine region is Pinot Noir [source: Worldwide Wine Tours]. Coming from grapes that are actually rather quick to ripen, they grow well in Hawke's Bay and are cultivated much earlier than the rest of the red grapes that dominate the region's landscape.
Though New Zealand may not be first on your mind when considering wines, if you enjoy a good red, you owe it to yourself to check out the Hawke's Bay region. Who knows? Maybe you'll even decide to pop in for a visit to one of its popular wine festivals.
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