Matakana is a very small wine region less than one hour's drive north of Auckland. Premium wines have been produced in the area for some time and there are several new vineyards being developed. Almost all the vineyards are on slopes, which helps to drain the clay soils. Traditionally a red wine growing region there are now some outstanding white wines - especially Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. However the classic red varieties of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinotage, Pinot Noir and Sangiovese have shown consistent excellence.