(Photo: Black Barn Vineyards)
New Zealand might arguably be the youngest country on Earth, having only been settled for about 800 years, but its food and wine scene is quickly becoming one of the world's best. The island nation's innovative Pacific Rim cuisine celebrates European, Asian, and Polynesian influences, while its New World wines draw from Old World experience.
On the North Island, the Classic Wine Trail stretches northeast from capital city Wellington to the region of Hawke's Bay. Along the way, wineries, trendy restaurants, and local farms follow the highest standards in sustainability and showcase the stunning landscapes that New Zealand is known for.
Here's a tour of some of my favorite food and wine stops along the trail.
Editor's Note: This article is part of our New Zealand Travel Guide, which includes information about the best places to go in New Zealand, when to visit New Zealand, what to eat in New Zealand, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit filming locations in New Zealand, and unique adventure activities in New Zealand.