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Situated on New Zealand's North Island, the Hawkes Bay wine region has a history dating back to the 1850s. It is found on the island's east coast, spans the area around the cities of Napier, Havelock North and Hastings, and has a varied terrain, containing five rivers, as well as valleys and forest trails. Among the most notable varieties of grape produced in the region are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Hawkes Bay has a sunny, maritime climate, with dry, warm summers and long autumns. The region is especially known for the quality of its Bordeaux Blend red wines and its full-bodied Chardonnay white wines. More recently, the area has also become known for the production of excellent Shiraz wines, with strong black pepper flavours.