Clearly the roar of jets doesn’t bother grapes, as NZ’s most awarded winery is just 4km from the airport. The parklike grounds of Villa Maria are a green oasis in the encircling industrial zone. Short tours ($5) take place at 11am and 3pm. There’s a charge for tastings ($5, refundable on purchase), but lingering over wine and antipasto (platters $40 to $50, lunch $33 to $36) on the restaurant's terrace sure beats hanging around the departure lounge.
A series of concerts is held here every January and February featuring big international artists popular with the 40- to 50-something wine-swilling demographic.