Ultimate Guide to the Bay of Plenty Wine Region

The Bay of Plenty in New Zealand is known for its many wineries and restaurants. See our collection of wine pictures
Vicki Couchman/Axiom Photographic Agency/­Getty Images

­The "Bay of Plenty" could be a reference to your Thanksgiving spread -- or the expanding waistlin­e caused by it. But it's actually a region on the North Island of New Zealand known for its abundance of wineries and restaurants. Legend has it that the area got its name from Captain Cook, who explored the area in 1769. He noticed the giving nature and prosperity of the native group, the Maori, and decided the area would be well suited to the name "Bay of Plenty."

The Bay of Plenty region is traditionally mentioned in the same breath as the adjoining Waikato region -- you'll notice that both regions are mentioned later in this article. Both areas are south and southeast of Auckland. Auckland is a well-known wine-producing region, but the Bay of Plenty fares well with its small but robust collection of wineries.

­Bay of Plenty has a lot going on beyond wine. Its beaches attract surfers year-round, and the gorgeous scenery alone is­ enough to draw people in. The area is also home to several spas and relaxation rooms, and every season seems to have a different adventure specialty, which, in turn, greatly benefits the wine business. The tourism industry and the wine industry really feed off each other.

Click to the next page to discover the interesting historical and cultural points of the Bay of Plenty wine region.