Paroa Bay Winery, Russell, Bay of Islands
Paul Goodege, Winemaker
The Bay of Islands is one of the country’s most popular summer destination, with 144 islands forming a peninsula, basking in a glorious sub-tropical climate almost all year round. While vineyards might not pop up at the front of your mind when you’re thinking about the Bay of Islands, the region has seen a resurgence in producing great vintages over the recent years. Paul Goodege, winemaker at Paroa Bay shares with us a little bit more about making wine in the idyllic Bay of Islands.
Why Russell in the Bay of Islands?
The Northland and in particular, the Bay of Islands wine region has seen a real resurgence in recent years with some great back-to-back vintages and several key producers really hitting their straps. Paroa Bay was first planted in 2006 with the vision of utilising the de-vigorating clay slopes to produce intense and concentrated varietal wine that could stand alongside their European counterparts. In 2012, the Paroa Bay became part of the Lindis Group and this only allowed for further focus on premium quality.
Okay, go on and make us envious, what’s the view like from where you are?
Framed by native Podocarp forest, the view from Paroa Bay out into the heart of the Bay of Islands is truly breath-taking. On stunning days, the turquoise water glimmers on the horizon and is truly mesmerizing against the lush green vegetation.
Can you tell me more about the wine that you produce, and how the region influences its quality.
Northland producers are small, quality focused and dedicated as the small land holdings and marginal climate dictate production. We grow 7 different varieties in multiple small blocks distributed around a natural basin. Our wine style portfolio is still evolving but currently we produce 7 different wines all unique and sculpted from the unique Paroa Bay environment. Notably, our newest release, the Paroa Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2021 is very special to us for two great reasons:
Paroa Bay is the only vineyard in Northland to produce Sauvignon Blanc
This wine is also 100% made by me (Paul Goodege) since joining in mid-2020
Only 96 cases were produced and this Northland Sauvignon Blanc is packed with tropical fruit, vibrant green herbs and a refreshing green apple crunch!
We want our wine lovers to make a trip out of it, can you share with us what other exciting, new and interesting activities can be found around the estate?
There are few places in the world where you get the sense of land emerging from the ocean — where sky, land and sea are continuous — New Zealand’s Paroa Bay Winery is one of these places. Our superb property features three luxury villas, a boutique winery, and our world-class restaurant, Sage.
If you're planning a trip up to the Bay of Islands this summer, here are some recommendations from the team at Paroa Bay to make the most out of it. Whether a day trip, or a multi-day getaway, there are numerous options to choose from.
Make it a complete package for your visit to Paroa Bay Winery by staying at one of their luxury villas, boasting expansive views of the Bay of Islands to lush native fauna surrounds.
Stay for lunch or dinner at Sage Restaurant, featuring some of freshest and revered offerings from the ocean and exceptional produce.
If you're out boating and cruising the Bay of Islands, the team can arrange for transfers to visit the vineyard or prepare a platter for you to savour onboard.
Last but not least, stop by for a wine tasting with one of the team members, or if it's a glorious day out, have a picnic amongst the vines.
P.S. If you're not heading up to the Bay of Islands this summer, you can also catch Paroa Bay Winery at Winetopia Auckland 2022!
All images supplied by Paroa Bay Winery/The Lindis Group